Cybersecurity is everyone’s problem
In a world that is more and more connected and with information available everywhere, it is surprising how few of us are aware of The Global Risk Report. Why I say this? Because if you did, you would know that cyberattacks and data fraud or theft sit among the most likely to happen and most impactful events, alongside natural disasters and extreme weather events – which we have no way of preventing – or failure of climate change mitigation and terrorist attacks.
Cybersecurity risks are growing, both in number and strength. In 2017, WannaCry attack affected 300,000 computers across 150 countries, and Petya caused quarterly losses of US$300 million for a number of affected businesses. Both businesses and people are harmed every day by this phenomenon and the thread is evergrowing.
How can we stay safe?
In my field of work (Cybersecurity) , we get asked every day why a computer got infected and what could have been done to prevent this. It’s a difficult conversation to have, mainly because there is only one answer to it, that the ultimately responsible for whatever is happening on your computer is… you. Just like having a very high-tech house and the most secure front-door locking system does not keep you safe when you invite strangers in your home, in the same way no matter how secure and safe your network and devices are, what you do every day, how you use them is what will eventually harm or keep them safe.
This may sound like security companies are just trying to avoid responsibility, but actually they’re merely trying to raise awareness. No matter how much hype has been created around computers taking over our lives and jobs, we’re still not there and I am not sure we will ever be. We will always have the free will to choose whatever we want to install and run, a trade-off that gives humanity both its vital freedom, but also makes room for mistakes and vulnerabilities – which, by the way, I believe is perfectly normal.
However, we should always keep in mind that our daily choices are what exposes us the most: the unknown websites we visit, the files we download, the strange emails we are curious to open anyways, the weak passwords we create for our accounts, the USB sticks we don’t scan before we use, the programs we download and install overpassing our Firewall, the payments we make without checking for an HTTPS connection, the numerous social media apps we offer personal data to.
We make choices every day and the less we think about them and avoid putting the extra effort in, the more exposed we are. It’s not rocket science and it’s definitely not unachievable, but staying safe should become a daily concern, if you want to maintain it. And trust me, you do!
Andreea Baloi is a Contributor on Outsourcing Advisors
Andreea is a bold and brutally honest IT professional, with over 10 years’ experience in Management and more than 5 running Business Operations. Her background lies in customer support, where she strives to achieve excellency in offering assistance, while inspiring and helping her team to build the skills and strategies needed to develop and grow their IT careers.
Andreea is really passionate about women empowerment, leadership and personal growth, and she’s constantly using her online presence to raise awareness about these topics. She enjoys reading and uses writing as a form of meditation and expressing creativity. When she’s not working, Andreea spends time with her friends and family, usually trying to get her 10-year old nephew to still enjoy her company. You might also find her travelling to new places, doing yoga, watching NETFLIX or occasionally going out dancing.