At the end of World War I, German engineer Arthur Scherbius constructed a device that would become central in another global conflict of unimaginable magnitude over 20 years later: the Enigma machine. The machines, which steadily became more complex with each iteration, consisted of a series of rotors that, by themselves, encrypted messages input via the attached typewriter. Each rotor performed a simple substitution cipher, but when
Initially used for transmitting sensitive company secrets in the commercial sector, the technology was eagerly adopted by the German military machine before World War II. After war broke out across Europe once again, Enigma encoding became central to the operation of the Axis powers, used for sending vital, sensitive intelligence across the airwaves. Due to the complexity of the Enigma system, the Germans were confident that the code would not, and could not, be broken
But the Germans were wrong. Using photographs of stolen Enigma operating manuals obtained by a German spy, the Polish General Staff’s Cipher Bureau managed to construct an Enigma machine of their own, which provided them with the means to covertly decrypt substantial amounts of Axis intercepts. Ahead of the impending invasion of Poland, the Poles shared their knowledge with the French and British military to expedite the defeat of the Germans. A massive team at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, led by code-breaking master Alan Turing, became the central location for Allied efforts to keep up with Enigma operations.
Germany, still convinced the code was fundamentally unbreakable, continued using Enigma for a wide array of communications. But even the most complicated four-rotor Enigma systems were eventually decrypted. Great pains were taken to ensure the Germans never learned their precious code had been broken, labeling any intelligence gained from Enigma as “Ultra,” keeping the significance of Bletchley Park’s operations under wraps. Ultra-intelligence was used sparingly to avoid German suspicion.
The efforts of the Polish Cipher Bureau, Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, and the hundreds of men and women who contributed to the cracking of the Enigma code were described as “decisive” in the shortening of the war, and, at the high-end, are estimated to have saved over 14 million lives.
Much like the Germans who assumed Enigma was uncrackable, most business owners believe their current, potentially outdated, cybersecurity measures will keep their data safe. But, in the contemporary age where digital information is as precious as gold, cybercriminals are working around the clock to penetrate even the most robust security solutions. You can bet they’ve already created a workaround for your current antivirus, firewall, and security measures. What was good enough before may not be good enough today. After all, it’s simply impossible that a security solution from even two years back could be equipped to defend your precious data from a cutting-edge hacking technology that didn’t even exist when it was created. The situation is further compounded when you add the likes of machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI)-driven cyberattacks to the mix.
Today, companies that fail to stay abreast of the latest Cybersecurity trends — clinging foolishly to their own Enigma — are certain to pay the price down the line. Once the lock is picked, you need a new lock, and cybercriminals are cracking new locks each and every day.
Luckily, as your IT provider, we’re cybersecurity experts, and we constantly seek the latest and most robust security solutions. Don’t foolishly leave your company’s security up to a false sense of confidence. Your cybersecurity protection is only as strong as the weakest link in your organization, and using an outdated cyber strategy is a sure way to leave your business exposed for a potential cyber attack. Always be looking at options to upgrade your digital security and make it a sure thing.
The 7 Most Critical Business IT Security Protections
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Concerned about the security status of your business IT network? We can help… Call us to schedule A FREE Cybersecurity Consultation. Aurora InfoTech is an Orlando-based premier managed services provider specializing in both network security and information technology. Give us a call today at (407) 995-6766 to discuss your network security concerns and to learn how we can help you secure your business IT network.
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Roy Richardson is a co-founder, Managing Partner, and CTO of Aurora InfoTech LLC, a leading Cybersecurity & IT consulting firm in Orlando, Florida.
He has 20+ years of executive management & engineering experience in the Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Telecommunication industries. The vast experience he gained over the course of his career has given him a unique perspective that allows him to relate to a broad spectrum of business & technology challenges.