Cybersecurity, what is it and what does it mean to me?

February 1, 2019

Commentary
Bill Owen – TechNewsBlog.net

 

We hear a lot about cybersecurity issues, identity theft, etc. We try to keep up on it, read a few articles. How many of us are actually taking it to heart and doing something about it? This would definitely not be one of those “put it on the backburner” categories for consumers or businesses.

From the consumer standpoint, we typically do not give it much thought while we merrily browse on our smartphones, tablets or PCs, posting messages, checking Facebook or a myriad of other social sites. Easy peasy, no sweat. But if you have not taken the minimal precautions to protect your bank accounts, personal websites, etc., you need to. Cybercriminals have become increasingly adept at breaking through some of the most stalwart of firewalls, etc.  As a consumer, you need to stay on top of it on a regular basis, even if you think it is a pain in the [bleep]. Some may not think about it, because nothing has happened to them to date. Just ask anyone who has been a victim of identity theft of important data about themselves. It takes months/years to clean it up. They are undoubtedly, or should be, leading the charge in updating people they know on the importance of browsing security. SSNs, phone numbers, bank accounts, passwords, and the list goes on and on. I have included an article from Kevin Murnane, a contributor to Forbes, on some very important steps to take in case you have not considered this topic, or are not sure if you have taken all of the basic steps to date to protect yourself re: privacy issues. Having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is almost a must now. Another article here on the all important subject of public Wi-Fi, that is largely being ignored (from the Federal Trade Commission with video). Feel free to chime in with comments, including any experiences that you have had that may apply here. Your input could be very instrumental in preventing some major issues for a lot of people.

From the business standpoint, IT departments are designed to have specialists on board to address the issues. That’s a given. They are probably the most underappreciated group/division within a company. All we want is our computers working so we can get the job done. Everything is wonderful until the system goes down. Red alert!!  We rarely see/realize the constant level of maintenance that the IT Team performs on a daily basis that keeps everything up and running about 90-95% of the time (hopefully your range is similar or higher!). Business cybersecurity is a whole different animal, as very sophisticated cybercriminals/hackers (the black hat variety) love to test their talent and abilities at a business’ expense. They are growing in number and sophistication, so it is a constant battle. Keeping up on the latest protective measures is being undertaken by many businesses today, but a surprising percentage are not, or are not to the extent that they should be. I will include an overview article from Kapersky Labs of what the business sector has to face here along with an article from Josh Fruhlinger, a contributor to CSO Online concerning statistics from 2018. A lot of excellent additional links to specific areas there. This may be of interest if you are an employee and/or consumer, just so you get an idea of the scope of the potential and real threats that businesses are facing. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and that definitely applies to business.

Cybersecurity Predictions For 2019 from Forbes Technology Council article by Brian NeSmith. Brian is the CEO and Co-Founder of Arctic Wolf Networks, a leading SOC-as-a-service company, based in Sunnyvale, CA.  Additionally, Arctic Wolf Networks has been earmarked for $45 Million in new funding to accelerate company growth.

Cybersecurity will have its own category on this blog soon, so check back frequently. Hopefully some of the more technical posts in the future will be of more use for the informed, but it is always a good idea to lay out a good foundation first for the general audience. If you are a technical professional, feel free to add in technical areas of interest that you would like to comment on or have not been able to find answers to. I will do what I can to dig it up and post here for you in the comment section.

As a side note: I am really looking forward to attending a number of key technology conferences this year. I will be rubbing elbows with some key people and get their take on the latest landscape in different specialty areas of technology. I will then be able to, with their permission, post some articles of interest that should be of benefit. Thank you.

Bill

 

 

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