This is the second portion of a three-part series on Cybersecurity advice. In Part 1, I covered general awareness and protection of personal devices. In this post, I will focus on online interactions and provide advice to help ensure you are safe, secure and private in the online world.
When I started my career over 20 years ago, I was issued a corporate laptop with a phone-line dial-up modem and a beeper. For years, the computer was the only device I connected to the corporate network. The computer was provisioned to me complete with corporate standard software and all of the necessary security controls built in. The software was kept up to date by my IT department and the only things I had to do were keep the device physically safe from thieves and avoid losing it. Fast forward to today and things look much different. With the emergence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), more personal machines are connecting to the private networks of organizations without the oversight of IT. The presence of these devices increase the risk of exploitation from the outside. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), who are responsible for securing enterprise networks, face challenges with this new paradigm. The days of relying on the IT department to handle everyone’s cybersecurity needs are gone. It has become imperative for all of us to take a more active role in maintaining the right cybersecurity measures for ourselves. By paying attention and doing work to set things up properly, you can keep yourself and your livelihood safe. After all, like a chain with several links, your corporate security is only as strong as its weakest link. Do you want to be the weak link?
The first time I heard about “Fake Cell Towers”, I thought to myself, Hold up. There is such a thing as a “fake” cell tower?!? Why would someone want or use a fake cell tower?
Personally Identifiable Information, commonly referred to as PII, can be broadly defined as any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Additionally, it may include any information that can de-anonymize a person from other persons or a set of anonymous data.
CES, that mind-boggling and exhausting annual tribute to tech innovations has changed. More than 25 years ago the event was dominated by the wireless players and Microsoft with a wink and a nod to Detroit. Over time the show has shifted from the pinnacle venue for tech companies to unveil their splashy new consumer products to the place to experience nascent technologies.
How many of us have shared secrets, disciplined our children, sought council on how to address a work or family issue, discussed sensitive financial challenges or had a private moment with our children or loved ones in the presence of our smartphones? Most of us? All of us? These are common occurrences in our daily lives which typically happen behind closed doors due to the sensitive nature of the information being discussed or the actions occurring. People say, “you never know what goes on behind closed doors”, until now.
Just a week into the new year and Gartner’s prediction that information security spending will reach $93 billion in 2018 seems perhaps a big understatement. Even before the end of the 2017, many security experts suggested the number was on the low side of conservative. And that came before the report of a massive vulnerability to microprocessors with Spectre and Meltdown. Regardless of where the number ends up, with headlines like this one from CNN on January 5, 2018 – “The security of pretty much every computer on the planet has just gotten a lot worse” – makes a number over $100 billion seem more plausible. But, for the purposes of this blog we’ll use the $93 billion figure.
A Personal Perspective on Security Resolutions for 2018
It was our original intent to put together a brief recap of the year in cyberattacks, breaches and exploits. But “brief” hardly seemed possible when we started digging in. Mexican journalist attacks, BlueBorn, KRACK, Broadcom WiFi chip bugs, WannaCry, Loapi, the Equifax hack and all the other DDoS, MITM, malware, ransomware, spearphishing and spoofing attacks made the list, but these are just starters.
You either know somebody or it has happened to you – you have a conversation around your smartphone, check your social media or news feed, and boom, the topics of your conversation are being advertised on your smartphone. Most people’s reaction is usually some combination of “WTF?!?” and “Is my phone really listening in on me?” This isn’t new news, but mobile espionage (the modern catch phrase for smartphones listening, watching and tracking your every movement without you knowing) is certainly getting discussed a lot more, and on many levels.