Your home is your castle. It’s filled with pictures and memories, set up just the way you like, more than just the money you paid for it. You buy insurance to cover the cost of replacing it lest anything should ever happen to it but the truth is – it’s irreplaceable. Nobody wants to go through the heartache or headache of massive loss or damage. But that’s exactly what happens when our computers crash or phones go missing. We put the equivalent of our entire lives on tech devices. We have become a mobile society.
Most people know about anti-virus software and backups. A percentage use these to safeguard their tech and their data. But the reality is that most people have no idea just how vulnerable they are and what their actual exposure to damage and loss is. Today, the real risk isn’t dropping a phone into a puddle or circuits frying. It’s something lurking in the shadows, waiting for you to swipe your credit card, visit a website, or open an email attachment. Cybercrime has become a significant player in the new global economy, and it’s here to stay.
If only hackers were those sharply savvy caricatures dressed in black we enjoy in movies. But there is nothing charming or funny about gangs of thugs whose sole motivation is to get rich by ruining the lives of others. And that is the true essence of cybercrime. Our personally identifiable information, or PII, is the new currency of the blackmarket. Usercodes, passwords, drivers licence numbers, home addresses -we are broken down to bits and pieces, sold to the highest bidder, who will then recreate a whole new identity at our cost.
As it stands, the black hats are keeping more than one step ahead. For those of us in information security, or InfoSec, it’s a frustrating game of catch-up. Which means damage control more than damage prevention. The stakes are high, the payoffs are huge, and the playing field is global. But knowledge is power in this fight. As malware evolves and data breaches make nightly news, for the average user that really will mean an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.