Now that billions of us are connected and fully engaged online, the next 2 to 3 years represent the greatest criminal opportunity, probably in history, for some of the most ruthless and sophisticated criminal syndicates across the globe.
Our personal data spread across a global, all-connected, anonymous network, coupled with Big Data software, provides criminals with everything they need to launch large-scale attacks against many of us simultaneously. The ability to access and effectively process this massive amount of information positions the everyday, individual user of the Internet as a highly lucrative yet low-risk target for hackers around the world. Now, our homes, families and small businesses are at risk in ways we could not have imagined even just 5 years ago
Every institution in the world sees cyber-crime as their #1 risk in the years ahead and considers IT security to be "mission critical" to their daily operation. Now, in 2015, the same can be said of the individual and small group users of online technology.
As individuals and small groups, our everyday use of technology is at an all time high and yet still increasing rapidly. Our appetite for ubiquitous, mobile access to our personal information has been both accommodated and accelerated by Internet "clouds" and "Big Data" software. We have become so deeply and broadly engaged with online technology that we are headed toward an Internet of Things (IoT), where all of our devices, systems and services are connected and communicating, all the while creating more personal information and storing it on the internet.
Gartner, which is considered the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, has this to say on the matter:
The Internet of Things (IOT), which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009.
Vast amounts of our personal information now exists in cyberspace "clouds" and clearly much more it will be added in the coming years. Governments, corporations, criminals and worse are using "Big-data" software to sort and sift our information, looking for patterns, connecting the dots, and creating a digital manifestation of who we are, what we are doing, and what we might be doing in the future.
Our data spread across a global, all-connected, anonymous network, coupled with big-data software, provides criminals with everything they need to launch massive attacks against millions of us simultaneously, inexpensively and effectively, making us all lucrative yet low-risk targets. As a result, our homes, families and small businesses are all at risk.
From "Nothing to Hide", to "Everything to Lose".
Historically, the regular, everyday user of the Internet felt comfortable without IT security measures and precautions. The comment most often heard when discussing the subject was "I have nothing to hide." In a fully connected, mobile, and everyday engagement with our technology, where the mundane mixes with the private and the arbitrary with the circumspect, we now find ourselves facing a proposition of "Everything to lose" with our online engagement with technology.
For more on the subject, click here for a New York Times op/ed article: How My Mom Got Hacked.
Why Is Cyber-Crime the Crime of the Future?
|Potential Upside||As much as you can take with you.||Unlimited.|
Injury or mortality.
Decades of hard time in prison.
Legitimate, high-paying job.
|Difficulty||Very hard to carry out without error.||Average difficulty.|
|Geography||Limited to location, in person.||Everywhere at once, anonymously.|
The Benefits of Protection
Protecting yourself on the internet can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to:
- Financial Fraud
- Reputational Risk
- Data Loss
- Privacy Invasion
- Video Spying
- Physical harm
- Substantial inconvenience and expense
Clearly, for many of us, the face of risk has changed entirely and cyber-security is not just for the big organization anymore.
The Good News
Thanks to massive investments in digital security solutions by the corporate and government sectors, individuals, and small groups now have access to the same effective defenses as the largest of institutions. Fortunately, when the best internet security solutions are correctly put in place, they will reduce almost all of the risk you, your home, family, office and small business have when it comes to cyber-crime. And, even the best and most effective of online risk management solutions are extremely affordable and represent great value.