WWW: World Wide Web or Wild Wild West - The Evolving Necessity for Cyber Security
We are now at a point that we have run so fast and far out west into this digital frontier age that we are forgetting the lessons of the previous frontier age. Those lessons include that everyone out there is looking to take that which you work hard for. Back in the day the law could not keep up with the explosion of growth and progression to the point that every man and woman carried a weapon. The mentality was that your safety and security was first and foremost your own responsibility. You could choose to learn to shoot fast and straight or forced to accept the consequences, and back then that was acceptable. Now a days we seem to feel that our safety and security is the responsibility of others, a complacent point of view that has grown out of a hundred years of relying on our governing bodies to provide such services. The problem with that line of thinking is that the Internet is a completely separate realm of reality from that of this nation. It is a faceless, nation-less environment that doesn’t have cops walking the streets. The choice at that point is whether to allow the governments to police with absolute authority and visibility. The problem with such a concept as demonstrated in recent times is that means sacrificing our privacy and in an environment that we have grown so intimate with, allows for more visibility into our state of mind and life then any subpoena or warrant could begin to specify. So at this point we stand at the base of this new digital frontier and must decide whether to sacrifice privacy or learn to shoot.
“What does this mean we must do?”, you ask. Perhaps fire two rounds into your hard drive next time your computer gets a virus. While definitely an effective means to destroy the virus, it probably voids the warranty. What I am suggesting is that we must arm ourselves with the most powerful weapon that has had more power to change the course of history then any gun ever made, knowledge. The truth is knowledge has great power and more so then we seem to give it credit for in today’s day and age. We seem to have forgotten what power it has, but the truth is that knowledge is the only weapon that the malicious are using to rob us of our data, money and safety. The knowledge of how to exploit websites that are out of date, or capturing data on a public wireless network. This fact is exemplified by the recent discovery that over 1.2 billion credentials have been compromised. The truth is the most frequent bit of knowledge that is used against us is the fact, that society as a general rule, has such a lack of knowledge and still wants to move so fast. It is the equivalent of playing in a scavenger hunt blindfolded someone is always going to run by and grab the eggs as you reach out for them. David Greer at Blackhat a few years ago stated “freedom, security or convenience – choose 2” . I for one choose freedom and security; convenience is the dying breath of rapid growth. If we are hoping to continue at this rate of progression, then all businesses must make security a realistic priority and individuals must become more knowledgeable. Otherwise we will have to sacrifice our privacy and accept the conveniences that sacrifice gives us.