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Fighting cyber friction

It seems like every week we’re informed of a new global cyber attack crippling companies and grinding businesses to a halt. The perpetrators steal information, hijack entire systems and increasingly demand a ransom in exchange for the release of the hacked network. Indeed, cyber crime has become all too common in 2017.

The results of one of these events can be truly devastating. For example, after being struck by a large ransomware assault earlier this month, FedEx halted trading of its shares after the global operations of its subsidiary had been affected—a disruption that might have brought another company to its knees. Experts warn that we’ve now entered a new era where cyber attacks are simply a matter of when, not if. This makes cyber crime a potential friction that every entity will have to factor into its operations.

While attacks on huge corporations will likely always dominate cyber crime news, person-to-person cyber assaults have the potential to be just as ruinous, if not more so, for the victims. What’s worse in this scenario is that the average person is totally unequipped to deal with the threats, let alone truly understand them.

For individuals, the solution to cyber crime is far more complicated than the installation of a home security system or purchase of an RFID-blocking wallet. We interact with a dizzying number of digital touch points on a day-to-day basis, which we can only expect to expand in the decades ahead. However, here’s the good news: as the friction that threatens our personal security increases, the number of options for safeguarding those touch points and removing their associated friction is also increasing.

Wired suggests prioritising what to protect and focusing efforts on those areas. For example, where protected browsing is important, it may be best to use a VPN and dig deep into the Google settings, as the organisation collects an astonishing amount of information about browsing habits if the user allows it. For general security, a password manager can help foil code-cracking software that can break into personal accounts.

At Tungsten Network, we treat cyber security as what it is: an absolute necessity. For organisations and individuals alike, a leaky security solution introduces friction into what should otherwise be a smooth—and safe—system of transactions, never-ending email threads, viral cat videos and whatever else your digital future holds.

About the author

Alphus Hinds

As Manager of Cyber Risk, Security and Compliance, Alphus Hinds is tasked with ensuring that Tungsten Network continues to be ahead of the game when it comes to protecting data and systems from ever-evolving cyber threats. A seasoned risk practitioner in technology and security, Alphus was part of the security teams on the last three Olympic Games where he helped to secure their operational and technology environments, and was also Head of Security for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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