What does it mean to be cyber smart?
Being cyber smart is perhaps the most important asset for the overall security of the company.
Cybersmartness can be practiced by literally anyone in a digitally transformed 21st century world, even the least tech-savvy among us. For every person on the internet everyday, there really is no higher priority than being cyber smart these days.
Most of us won’t equate being cyber-intelligent an existential matter, but hard facts prove that having cyber-intelligents has become vital. Why is being cyber smart all of a sudden so important, you will ask me? The answer to this is that being cyber smart has always been a high priority, not just now. Let’s try to imagine tying our shoes correctly instead of leaving the laces mangled and hanging. Obviously, the second option can trip us up and break something.
Today’s risks that can lead to data theft and network disruption are far more sophisticated than ten years ago. The internet itself is another level, as are the security and privacy risks that can affect us on a personal level. There is plenty of concrete evidence to put this into perspective; like how the world’s largest insurance companies have officially noticed that digital crime, or cybercrime, has overtaken natural disasters in order of global risk.
Even still, every day more and more hackers perform more online operations, which creates a dangerous internet environment for everyone. Yes, they are there to have you, if you are not prepared. In general, there are so many more channels for criminals and malware to sneak through today, and as such, there is a growing need to match this danger with the right amount. of security awareness, then let’s think about becoming cyber smart.
Our company has created truly transformative technological advancements such as modern medicine, machinery and electricity. Later, we created the silicon chip and therefore the computers and ultimately the Internet. We did not know that the Internet, the World Wide Web, would take over our lives in almost all of its forms.
As much as the internet is one of our greatest inventions that truly transcends all borders, it is also one of our greatest vulnerabilities as something so vast, uncontrolled, and ever-changing cannot be perfectly contained, stabilized or, above all, secure. With such a threatening adversary who looks like a predator ready to pounce at the slightest inattention, aka cybercrime, we need a perfectly secure, contained and stable environment. At least.
When we think of cybercrime, we are associated with the notion of popular culture of hackers.
The truth is, it’s a movie. In reality, hackers (or cybercriminals) need a vulnerable entry point to cause damage. It is very rare that they can just step in anywhere, as a password and firewall are there at the bare minimum. Therefore, this is where human error comes in. Human error is the root cause of the vast majority of data security incidents. Human error drives the train forward, the pirates only jump on this already moving train.
We all know data is the lifeblood of the Internet. Not only that, but it’s data that we all share across the Internet ocean and billions of others on the Internet on a daily basis.
Without data or information, there is no “network” to interact with. Most of the time, that same data, petabytes of which travels through gargantuan transcontinental underground and ocean cables, can be extremely sensitive and highly confidential. When human error is at the root of almost all security problems in the digital world, this also begs the question; don’t we have systems in place that take human error into account? Are people that thick? Isn’t that why we made machines and algorithms so that they can calculate and process things better than us? It would be a typical conversation. However, technically the answer to this question is much deeper and manifold.
Configuration errors, sabotage, lack of regular hardware and software maintenance, failure to follow Internet best practices, and ultimately lack of cybersecurity knowledge and preparedness are the main elements of human error that put all our lives in danger. These habits and behaviors are exhibited all over the world, even by the most elite organizations.
Be cyber smart
Fortunately, encryption is one of the keys to data security and we’ve developed it to high standards today, but encryption alone falls short of a complete cyber-smart approach to protecting data, devices, and networks. This is just one of the notches in the belt of great cybersecurity. Most data breaches happen because of weak passwords and unsafe email practices, not unencrypted drives or servers.
These problems may seem simple and similar to kindergarten, but weak passwords and phishing are among the most popular vulnerable entry points for cybercriminals, and how can we blame them? These are the fastest ways to make illegal earnings. Using your dog’s name on all of your accounts while you blindly click on a link sent to you by a Nigerian prince doesn’t seem exactly cyber-smart, does it? Connecting your precious laptop to a random public WiFi connection? Leave your tablet unattended in public? Do you browse shady sites meant to harm you in some way? Share your password with someone on social networks? The consequences should be immediately obvious.
Unfortunately, these activities are exactly what millions of people do and fall apart every day, compromising their networks and those of others, not to mention credentials. Of course, not everyone is tech-savvy, but everyone has access to a computer or smartphone these days (and by default, has access to the internet). the sky without having spent a day in flight school.
The common narrative in everyone’s mind today is that it was smartphones that ruined society and that it’s social media’s fault that the company is such and such. It’s all the fault of the tech companies! This is the wrong approach, because all of these industries and inventions are a reflection of our collective desires to create something bigger. It is we who transmit our personal lives and our personal information on a platter to the rest of the internet. What we need to do is take responsibility for our creations, starting with being cyber smart.
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle reporter was involved in the creation of this content. The group also declines all responsibility for this content.