You will be surprised to hear that I was playing golf at the weekend. As always over the duration of a round, we discussed all manner of things.
On Sunday, one of my playing partners brought up cyber security and how insecure he felt about his personal information and bank details.
He suggested going back to pen and paper and taking all his banking offline, because it’s more secure.
We all agreed that this was a silly idea but in truth its not that silly unless we personally get very serious about our online security and staying up to date and ahead of the game.
In relation to our cyber security, we are all feeling insecure at the moment. But I’d like you to think about a time in your lives when you felt most secure. Go ahead and close your eyes for a moment.
Where are you? Are you a child? Are you with a parent or a trusted friend?
Remember how it felt to feel safe and content at that moment in time.
For me it was growing up in Donegal, in the northwest of Ireland. It’s also, by the way, the area National Geographic recently named as “the coolest place on the planet” (I’m so proud of Donegal – You must visit!!)
For me this was a great time, it was a safe time and it was a time when I felt secure.
And now – like when I remember seeing a storm roll in from the Atlantic Ocean back in my childhood home – we live in a time that can feel a lot less secure, don’t we?
Consider the U.S. Elections and the alleged meddling by Russia and the hackers reportedly breaking into computer networks of companies operating the United States nuclear power stations, energy facilities and manufacturing plants, according to a new report by The New York Times.
It’s not just companies and organizations that are vulnerable – every person, place and every online device in the world is potentially vulnerable.
I don’t know about you, but back in the 90’s, whenever I used to hear about hackers and viruses, I tuned out.
But now, in the news, it seems we are hearing this happening on a daily basis – we’re getting bombarded about the cyber-crime reality that we live in. It can make you feel anything other than secure.
An article in Chief Security Officer Magazine, predicted that damages from cyber-crime will cost the world six trillion dollars a year. The threat of cyber-crime will more than triple the number of unfilled cyber security jobs, which is predicted to reach 3.5 million by 2021.
So that’s exactly why we need to become more dedicated to getting not just IT workers, but every worker, involved with protecting and defending apps, data, devices, infrastructure and people.
Cyber-crime is a very real and very scary threat, but I also see this as an opportunity if we embrace it – to help us all feel more secure, to be committed in helping everyone with their cyber responsibilities – to become good cyber citizens and have superior processes in place before a cyber breach is threatened.
We are all imperfectly human and hackers are very skillful at tracking human beings, not computers, and taking advantage of our vulnerability, our weaknesses.
Human error is still the most likely reason for a hack.
Going back to pen and paper is definitely not an option but becoming more aware of our cyber responsibilities is.