The Fundementals of Cyber Protection and Cyber Security

I was told that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time.   When it comes to the problem of cyber crime, cyber security is insane.   It is about time we took a new look, a new lateral and holistic look at how to protect our selves, our business and our clients.

Each technological breakthrough is built on a previous technological breakthrough, and it’s DNA can be traced back to something in the distant past.   Therefore Technology is one of the problems, the answer, according to Australian Signals Directorate, ASD, is to throw more technology at it.   More petrol on the fire, good thinking.

Social networks are the bane of our existence.    We use them in business and more importantly we use them as part of our normal everyday life.   They rely on the ‘social’ tag.   On Facebook, everyone is my friend and none of my friends will try to rip me off.   In another time and place this could be true but in this world they are not your friend and they WILL try to rip you off.   How many people have seen a friend request from someone that they did not know and automatically accepted it.   According to research by Facebook, 65% will accept, that is what they rely on to boost their numbers and Facebook is all about numbers.

But it is not only the high tech systems that there is a problem.   If you live your life on Facebook and twitter, and those posts are coming from 300 kilometres away from where you live then people know you are not home.    That new fancy $1,000 TV that you bought last week, flashed all over your status on Facebook, raved about on twitter is all alone at home.   A prime target for the non technical criminals.

We have to get down to fundamentals.

With fundamentals I mean we have to get back to basics.   I don’t remember when, but we the human population, since the introduction of the internet, have lost the ability to question other people’s motives.   It seems we trust everyone and everything on the Internet.   In normal life people have to prove that they are trustworthy, on the Internet everything is taken at face value and in most cases is accepted as trustworthy.

So what do I mean by fundamentals and basics?    Cyber protection is more about awareness than it is about technology.   Yes we still need the technology components.   Front facing firewalls, secure wireless and VPN, newest operating systems, applications and apps and patched to the buggery.   We also need other components like Management and sustainability, especially for business.   But, if you are aware of what is happening then, you will have a better chance of surviving the digital age.

Fundamentally, protecting myself is my problem, I do not rely on anyone else to protect me, just myself.   Hence the catch cry “CyberSecurity is my problem”.  The biggest bang for buck is to increase your awareness and the awareness of everyone around you.   This attitude will then transfer to your family, your staff and your friends.

This can be achieved in three ways.   Common sense, paranoia and awareness training.   Increased training in common sense and paranoia is a benefit.


Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.