I just now got done watching a live stream from my school from a long time cybersecurity expert. While I have been doing IT projects a long time in my mind (about 14 years now), I still forget sometimes just how far reaching technology is now.
The presenter (Mischel Kwon) used the illustration of a grocery store. Getting the audience involved, she assigned different people to different operations of a store, all connected with technology. Things like credit card companies, banks, suppliers, DHS, even farmers are all connected with one another. It’s through this that you can begin to see that it only takes one of these to be compromised to cause trouble for a number of these.
Even worse, there are so many little things that are becoming common that we don’t think about. It reminded me of a talk I heard at my old college where a information miner working for an HR firm would learn about people’s personal lives by finding friends who would most likely accept a random friend request and since most people used the “friend of a friend” setting for their privacy, they would be able to access all the information of their target.
Even I personally see the effects of cybersecurity issues. Heck this blog alone gets hit by bots trying to log into my nonexistent
admin account. At work, the SFTP software we have logs malicious login attempts and it fills up so fast it’s hard to keep the size of the files down. Also there have been personal clients I have worked with who were either scammed out of money from “Microsoft” employees fixing their computers or just flat out had their bank accounts wiped. And who of us hasn’t had our debit cards compromised? I’m up to my 3rd card this year alone!
It’s clear that, now more than ever, everyone needs to know how to keep themselves safe as feasibly possible. Some great tips on protecting ones identity can be found at http://www.computersecurity.com/white_papers/ten-ways-to-protect-your-identity.htm. While their is no such thing as a fool proof protection from cybercrime, most attacks work on vulnerabilities that are relatively easy to fix. Also knowledge is power, so don’t ever be afraid to ask people you know in the IT field for help if you think you might need to brush up on ways to protect yourself.
Until next time kids, that’s all the geek wisdom I can impart!