Cyber security is important. In fact, it was important in the years before cyber criminals started making money with malicious software – before we needed terminology such as phishing, botnets, attack chains, exploit kits, malware, spyware and ransomware.
When computer viruses on Friday the 13th became almost entirely about showing off imaginary buddies or making a destructive joke at the expense of everyone else by removing their programs one by one …
… well, even then, cybercrime (as we now unexpectedly call it) was neither witty nor innocent.
From about 2000 or 2001, cyber criminals not only learned how to spread chaos with malware, but also how to make illegal money. Lots of money.
A lot and a lot of money.
In the early 2000s, scammers were scamming $ 100 at a time with fake charity pop-ups you would send money to for fake charities; by the end of the decade, they stole charge card numbers and instantly helped themselves to $ 1000 at a time; in 2020, they are widely blackmailing by stealing or obfuscating your data and extorting you to buy it back for $ 1,000,000 at a time.
Cybercrime affects all of us directly
No matter how insignificant we feel in the digital economy, or how little we think we have for cybercriminals, we all have data that is worth something to cybercriminals – and there are whole chunks of the cyber foundation that get rich at our expense just from data steal to sell to someone else.
Simply put, a cybersecurity injury for you can quickly turn into a cybersecurity injury for everyone else.
How can I help you?
One way is to support Cybersecurity Awareness Month, or CSAM for short, in your part of the world.
Yes, CSAM is getting on a bit – it’s now in its 17th year (it started in the US in 2004), so you’ll find cynics saying, “But it’s just the same old tired advice people recycled every year. he can’t think of anything better to say. “
We disagree because the basics are still important and we haven’t quite figured them out yet.
Here’s what we said seven years ago to this day, when CSAM hit its tenth year:
“Cybersecurity is important because there is an entire underweb of cyber criminals waiting to take money out of our economy if we give them half a chance. So let’s do our best to give them less than half a chance. As we said before. , treat Cybersecurity Awareness Month as an incentive to change your digital lifestyle for the better in the long term. ”
And that’s what we say again
Sure, some of what you hear in CSAM are cute but basic phrases you’ve heard before, such as advice to “choose the right passwords”, encouragement to “stop – think – connect” before jumping to websites, and personal information fills out, and reminds that “if in doubt, don’t give it away.”
But even if you’ve been doing all those things yourself all along, what about your friends? Your family? Your colleagues?
Your attitude can also help them improve their cybersecurity, so our motto for CSAM 2020 is this: “Friends don’t let friends get ripped off.”
Because an injury from one is an injury for everyone.
- Paul Ducklin, Principal Research Scientist, Sophos.