Wednesday, February 1, 2017

(The Big Disrupt) Cybersecurity: Why do we need it?

A popular question these days is ‘why do I need to secure my computers and data?’

Well, the short answer is: you don’t. Not unless you care about your documents, pictures, files, etc. being used and exploited in ways you can’t even imagine.

The biggest thing about cybersecurity is that it is not perfect. Never has been and never will be. There is just too much to try and stay on top of.

That being said, it’s not that cybersecurity companies are inept per se. It’s that there is only so much to be done. Here are a couple basics that should hopefully clear the air a bit:

  1. Cost vs Risk - Because most people’s eyes glaze over at the mere mention of ‘cybersecurity’, it’s a tough industry to be in. How do you justify a high price tag for something that the end user doesn’t even understand (or want to for that matter)? It then becomes a balancing act for the companies trying to protect us. Their problem is having too many things to try to prevent and a limited amount of resources to use for that prevention.
  2. Creativity - Believe it or not, the Internet is not owned by any single entity. There is no way to even begin putting effective measures in place to prevent cyber attacks on a broad scale. That aside, the people and organizations that are doing the attacking are endlessly creative. Because the entities that are trying to protect us are largely public, the attackers can see what is being protected and more or less go right around it.
In the end the war for our digital safety is an uphill battle. The good guys will always be at a disadvantage if not for the two reasons we’ve covered here, then for something completely unforeseen.

To continue with the ‘war’ metaphor, pick your battles wisely. Figure out your risk tolerance and what makes the most sense from a cost perspective, then do what you can. We all have to live with the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect cyber defense and do our best.

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