April 26, 2019 CYBER SECURITY

Cybersecurity: A New Yet Familiar Frontier

Hi there, my name is Michael and I’m the newest addition to the Network Box USA team!

In a few short months, this place has already been amazing.  Super cool people, great environment, and meaningful work to do and learn from.  I’ll be honest though, the learning process has been nonstop.  Joining a Managed Security Services Provider with thousands of hours of surf-time under my belt, I never expected to learn so much about something I thought I already had a good handle on.  I’m talking about the world wide web.  More specifically, I’m starting to understand all the crazy things possible on this particular frontier, and I’ve only just cracked the surface.

Imagine That

When I discovered web browsing 15 years ago, I thought of it as the land of flash games.  Today, I tend to liken it to the wild west.  Let me explain why.  Many parts of the web have been colonized, developed, then regulated and given some sort of authority.  In such an expansive landscape, there are bound to be tiny lawless areas wherein “outlaws” lurk.  Searching for that one design flaw in nearby town “banks“, which will allow them to pillage whatever they can, as ill-skilled guards attempt to stand vigilant.  Granted, some “banks” may be protected like a fortress, but many others have Paul Blart as a security guard.

My point in comparing the two is to show how the world wide web seemed risk free to me for the longest time.  And how I now realize there’s so much more risk than I’d originally thought. It’s like saying you’ve lived in the wild west when all you’ve actually done is seen movies about it.  This doesn’t mean, of course, that one should adopt the mentality of many parents (like say, MINE) – their approach was to avoid it out of fear that some stranger will target their child (even if all said child wanted was to play online video games). What it does mean is that you’re far better off venturing around covered with steel plates (think Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, or Marty McFly), in order to be adequately protected from all sides.

Because essentially, the thing with cybersecurity is that it’s more like, “You’re an adult now, get on out there and have fun! By the way, you may not have noticed it before but you’re actually swimming in shark-infested waters with fresh chum in your pockets.  And that cage you’ve had to protect you?  The bar gaps are large enough for any shark that’s hungry enough. Also, oars to go with that boat would definitely help since you’re kind of just floating there, with no means to get back to shore.

I could list other metaphors representing the many facets of cybersecurity, and the impossibly wide spectrum of threat possibilities existing on the internet.  I could but I won’t.  I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say.  Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues in the world today, touching our lives in every possible way. Each day, I search for current articles about what’s new in cybersecurity,trends, incidents.  And with alarming inevitability, I come across a new company victim suffering from a massive breach, resulting in millions of users who now have to worry about who has possession of their confidential information, and what they’re going to do with it.

It’s terrifying, to say the least.

But don’t despair.

Plug the holes in your boats.  Tighten the ropes.  Reinforce your infrastructure.  You could also start hunting around for new means of transportation.  Cages with the narrowest of gaps between its bars.  NASA-grade steel plates.  Whichever metaphor you choose, there’s always an option to continue learning and growing, and keeping up with the pace of cybersecurity (threats).  It’s neither impossible nor ever too late.  Don’t give up.

Michael Schneider is our new Marketing Associate.