Inside Job

I was recently driving back to the office from a customer meeting with a colleague. She was telling me about the gated community she lives in with her family. I was stunned to hear that even in these walled worlds there is still crime and houses being burgled. Turns out that we have sophisticated criminals in our backyard, literally. From what I understand, these lawbreakers rent a house in the gated community and then rob the homes inside the estate and store the loot in their rented house and then get a truck and move out with all the stolen stuff. Sounds like a decent plot for a film script caper but this is real life.

Since I have been learning about honeypots and laying down traps, it occurred to me that it would make sense to have a decoy house added to the equation. Dress it up real nice, make it look valuable and attractive, and then have cameras on the inside that records who comes knocking on the door, well, er, who climbs though the open window, that was left vulnerable on purpose. That is what an interactive honeypot is designed to do – it sits their quietly, and if someone comes along and starts to fiddle it will send out an alert. Suspicious behaviour is generally always a problem. No honest person accidentally climbs through an open window into a stranger’s house.

Perhaps we could even call these “housepots”, like a honeypot for your house. Yes, this may very well be one way to detect these new cunning villains. Of course, one has to wonder on the vetting process. Can anyone rent a house in a gated community? Apparently, yes. The same with corporate computer networks. When your company reaches hundreds or thousands of staff, then is it possible to say that each and every person is on the up and up?

Honeypots are cost effective and very smart. I believe we will be seeing more and more creative uses of these elegant traps, especially considering the high unemployment around the world – becoming a hacker, for example, is a career path for many who can’t find a job.

What you want to know is if you have been breached where you live (physical) and where you work (online). There is no perfect science when it comes to keeping people safe, so, lay down traps. If your first line of defense is bypassed then have another control in place.