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Innovation needed to combat cyber attacks via gig economy

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EDUCATION AND innovation are needed in staying ahead of cyber attackers in the emerging gig economy, said content delivery network (CDN) and cloud service provider Akamai Technologies, Inc.

“Gig economy actually breaks different kinds of boundaries…. Everything can be selected, can be bought can be launched with multiple vectors. So, this becomes a much, much more powerful and much, much more coordinated platform to be able to launch an attack,” Gerald I. Penaflor, country manager for the Philippines of Akamai, said in a phone interview.

Attacks through the gig economy can be done when an ecosystem of attackers earning through data stolen through credential stuffing run a bot to attack an entity to steal data or, in simpler terms, do an account takeover. Attackers can conduct transactions through their stolen resources and earn from it.

Through this, attackers become stronger because they can get all the resources to launch an attack and even pool resources from other attackers.

“You look at this as a community of attackers that are now using a platform of an e-commerce. In the past, attackers and hackers were, basically, a specialist of a particular attack… They are very deep in the things that they do. So what happens now, suddenly, they form like an e-commerce ecosystem,” he said.

“There is now an e-commerce platform, or an ecosystem platform, that allows attacker number 1 to buy…some attacks from attacker number 2, 3, 4, so he becomes much, much stronger… So, you call this a gig economy where you as an attacker will not only rely on the sources that you have, but you can now borrow or buy resources form other attackers in a platform,” he explained.




With the emergence of this system, Mr. Penaflor said individuals, most especially companies, need to keep ahead of these attackers, and this can only be done through innovation and education.

“There are many things we cannot control in this industry… What we can control is our ability to respond, our ability to scale, our research and development…for us to be able to keep way ahead of our adversaries,” he said.

“From our perspective, we are a firm believer of education… Akamai came from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so the founders of this company are educators, so we are a firm believer of contributing to the market to further enhance the capability of them to be able to detect breaches like these by means of education, by means of certification trainings,” he explained.

Akamai is a CDN and cloud service provider based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was incorporated in 1998. They provide services like Web Performance Solutions, Media Delivery Solutions, Cloud Security Solutions, Network Operator Solutions, and Services & Support Solutions. — VMPG