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Cyber Attack! – Not really …

I’ve worked all of my life in what was originally called ‘Computing’, then ‘IT’ (with a brief detour into something called ‘ICT’ if you’re in the UK Civil Service – and nowhere else) and is now being referred to as the “Cyber world”.  There is a whole piece to be written about that mis-nomenclature but I suggest you just look up William Gibson on Wikipedia and then buy and read “Burning Chrome”.

To my point:  In all those years of work, which are many, I’ve seen a number of “Cyber Attacks”, I’ve been the victim, both willing and unwilling, of several.  They’ve been made by complete, traceable incompetents and also by people who still, after 25 years, haven’t revealed how they broke into a DEC Vax 8500.  They were aimed.

But what is happening now is NOT a series of Cyber-attacks, it’s a minefield, full of, let’s name them ‘Digimines’.

Digimines are cheap and easy to build or buy, they’re easily spotted, at least by the nominally aware or naturally wary.  However, for those that feel they are totally comfortable in this world, the so-called digital natives, these mines seem all too alluring.

The myth of the Digital Native Millennial being more at home in, and aware of, the Cyberworld is just that – a myth.  In fact, they often feel that the digital world is so comfortable and have so much trust in it that the all too tempting offer to ‘just click here’ to get something that seems too good to be true is irresistible.  Strangely, those who didn’t grow up in such a world seem to have the view that if something is ‘almost too good to be true’ then it probably is too good to be true.

That’s how the Digimine works.

BUT It’s not an attack and calling it an attack takes away the responsibility from the individual to protect themselves, their businesses and the people who rely on them.

An attack can be written off as something that was aimed.  Somehow it sounds unavoidable.  “We were the victim of a Cyberattack,” sound so very much better than “some idiot fell for a trap that they should have spotted a mile away.”

It also makes it so very much easier to flog something to you. After all, if someone is attacking you then you clearly need some help don it you?  I mean this is a serious attack – not a piece of stupidity that brought your business to its knees …

“Gegen die Dummheit kämpfen die Götter selbst vergeben.”

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves content in vain.”

– Friedrich Schiller

Except that it is not stupidity at all, but ignorance – a lack of knowledge, even amongst the digitally literate.  It’s no longer enough for IT specialists to warn their businesses about the dangers, it’s time for the whole board to act.

By on November 6th, 2017 in Uncategorised

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