Disruption or robbery?


Between 1887 and 1889 the definition of theft changed as man learned to replicate things in a rapid form, this was when the phonograph and the camera were invented allowing one to steal without needing to translocate the original.

The espionage business was disrupted overnight, battle lines changed and the world become ever more open, a situation that seems to proceed exponentially and unabetted.

We are still in the throes of our national elections which have been marred with accusations and counter accusations about if there was a theft or otherwise.

When an entire nation with millions of intelligent people cannot ascertain if a theft took place, then we have a serious problem, more serious is the fact that the home of technology, the USA, is also suffering the same fate as a little nondescript country in Africa, Kenya.

The US elections are claimed to have been rigged by a foreign power who still remains unnamed as there is no solid evidence, definitely there isn’t as it all happened in cyberspace.

Cyber security has become too complex an issue to be handled by a single entity least of all person as there are too many “moving” parts and too many parties involved in any single implementation, yet many of us believe we can achieve cyber security nirvana in isolation.

If someone steals your car you will know it has been stolen as it will no longer be where you believe you left it last, there is that remote chance that it was either repossessed for non-payment or towed away because of non-payment of packing fees but those are remote.

What if someone has stolen your client list that includes sales history, credit terms and recently sent quotations, how long would that take you to find out, if ever?

Providing micro-massages to your visitors, installing CCTV cameras (could make the situation even worse), breaking the law by taking away visitor’s identification cards or hiring highly trained sniffer dogs will not solve your cyber security issues as the person currently copying those vital files from your server as you read this is not even within your area code.

It is interesting that when an organisation refuses to invest in a UTM for its internet connection, they spends one hundred times more on beeping body patters, handbag content scanners and vehicle undercarriage cleanliness analysers.

We still seem to believe that the tablet on the CEO’s desk that is already protected by a PA, administrative assistant, secretary, executive wing, lift and gate guards is still what would be of value to a cyber-thief. Chances are there is more juicy information at the never to be missed sentry box visitors book than on that public event status symbol that gets connected to any available WiFi access point.

Cyber-attacks are a team activity, I am made to believe that the dark web even has a freelancer listing site that makes Elance seem like a kindergarten play list. It is easier to hire a cyber-mercenary than someone to polish your shoes yet we think we can secure ourselves in isolation of a larger ecosystem!

China realised this early enough which is why they have teams protecting cyber entry in the same way that they have immigration officers at their borders, they scan data entering and leaving the country more thoroughly than they do visitors at the airport because they appreciate the value differential.

It is therefore time we wake up and realise that cyber security is not a corporate requirement but an industry and by extension a national requirement.

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