Is the fear of hackers worse than the threat?

Written by on February 24, 2017 in Opinion with 0 Comments

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‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’. So said Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural address. Or was it Batman? In this age of hackers and constant cyber attack, this might be a sensible attitude to adopt.

We can be reasonably certain that we have been hacked at some point in the past few years. We can bank on it (or unbank on it) if our passwords are ‘123456’ or ‘Password1’. The trouble is that even as we mere consumers of digital fodder lumber to make ourselves safer online, the experts, the hackers, are way, way ahead of us.

The number of DDoS attacks increase in scale on a daily basis. Hacking for financial gain is taking a back seat to state sponsored hacking to alter the political landscape to suit the strongest.

And nothing, it seems, is safe.

Wired reported the other day that a drone and a camera, albeit a very fast one, was able to record an LED light on the front of a server and steal the information from within. This latest example of bridging an air gap to steal data is almost the final straw. Perhaps it is about time to throw our data into the digital void and let hackers and marketeers alike do their worst with it.

But, of course, we can’t. Certainly we can’t on a national and international basis.

There is, however, an increasing acknowledgement at the highest levels that we are under constant attack. The other day, Her Majesty the Queen opened the UK’s new National Cyber Security Centre, run by GCHQ as a ‘public, private’ venture to strike back.

Perhaps, finally, breakthroughs in security are beginning to appear. Governments, device manufacturers (kettles and smartphones) and operators should all be producing more and more robust defences, built in to their offerings.

Soon, hopefully, the security for the digital world will be able to counter the threat, at least to an acceptable level.

Until it does, the grey market for identities and bank accounts will become even more competitive (24/7 customer service is now offered by most ‘decent’ hackers) and stories of Governments and large corporations being hacked will continue (and escalate now that breaches need to be reported) to make the news.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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