Bad-actors, hackers, cyber-criminals, and other kinds of cyber creeps are out and about, and yes, they want company and personal data (information). Their motives and desired objectives and methods differ (and that’s a matter for discussion at another time), but the threat is always present.
People like me (who work every day in the cyber-security world to protect our critical information systems, corporate and employee data) like to say that it’s not a matter of if, but when. Breaches happen! Heard of the recently disclosed Equifax or Deloitte breaches Equifax stores and manages our highly sensitive credit and financial histories (all of which is Personally Identifiable Information). Deloitte is a major accounting firm, that also just so happen to specialize in cybersecurity consulting and auditing services (ouch!!).
No scare tactics here, but the point is no government, company, employee or citizen is immune to cyber based attacks. The Internet has ushered in an era of spectacular technological growth and enablement. Things that 10 years ago didn’t exist are now part of our societal fabric (think Twitter).
And history shows that everything mankind has engineered or invented for positive purposes can be inversely targeted for exploitation, fraud, or other trickery—and used by people or groups with bad-intentions. Think Amazon pursuing the potential for rapid delivery of products using drones—and terror groups now using drones on the battlefield. I digress…
While there are a lot of things we don’t have direct control over (the internet, bad people, our personal data being stored and transacted in various public and private information systems), there are a lot of things that we as individuals (whether an employee, individual citizen or member of a family or community) CAN and SHOULD do to reduce the likelihood that we’ll become the vector or target of exploitation (that in turn can lead to a broader breach). Vigilance is key! Paying attention to our “cyber surroundings” and thinking before we click a link in an email or open a file someone sent us are a good start.
Don’t let the Cyber creeps get you down! A little vigilance, awareness, and cyber-hygiene can go a long way in keeping those Cyber ghouls at bay! Emtrain has excellent cyber-security training resources and content and in celebration of Cyber Security Awareness Month, see https://www.stopthinkconnect.org/ for helpful tips and advice!