David Areskog

IT Security Technician

I attended an interesting talk last week presented by Raj Samani, Chief Scientist at McAfee, and hosted by the Real Time Club.

Raj is a computer security expert, having assisted many law enforcement agencies in cybercrime cases, co-authored books including ‘Applied Cyber Security and the Smart Grid’ and has been recognised for his contribution to the computer security industry through numerous awards.

It was refreshing to find the talk wasn’t anything to do with McAfee’s products or services, but instead an overview of the current cyber security industry from Raj’s perspective, along with areas he thinks we need to improve.

The talk explained how cyber security has evolved over the last few decades, emphasising the point; it’s no longer a computer problem, it’s an everything problem.

From the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack affecting the NHS which caused not only financial loss but many critical care appointments to be re-scheduled, to self-driving cars being hacked and raising security and liability concerns, and to proof-of-concept attacks targeting our internet-connected devices in our homes such as ovens, fridges, toasters and thermostats.

Cyber security is now affecting much more of our day-to-day lives, and this will only increase with time.

Education was one area identified for improvement. It’s taken a while for the education system to get up to speed with suitable IT education for students, but with schemes like the UK NCSC CyberFirst, this is a great way to help speed up the process, providing more up-to-date and relevant education in IT and Cyber Security as well as providing students with more opportunities.

But unfortunately, there are still too many successful attacks that are made possible by organisations or individuals not covering the basics. From businesses not implementing sufficient processes to help ensure software and devices are supported and updated within a suitable time frame, to software developers not implementing basic security mechanisms in their code to help better protect their software from malicious use, we still need to improve getting the basics right first.

If you are interested in finding out what your current cyber security status is and how it could be improved, get in touch with our cybersecurity team.

Published: 28th April 2021