Typical – bringing a knife to a gun fight. How defenceless are we to cybercrime?

There are times when I feel like Sean Connery in the untouchables.   You have to be more prepared than the bad guys to go the extra distance to win.   The underground world of cyber crime is vast and muddier than any criminal enterprise previous in human history and it is only going to get worse.

In the old days criminals had to be in an area, had to be seen and had to be “caught with the goods” to get arrested by law enforcement.   But today, a cyber criminal can be on the other side of the world, most of them are, asleep and running an attack on auto pilot and you can still loose everything that you consider valuable.

This change in criminal attitude has to be reflected in the way that you protect yourself and your business.   It is no longer prudent or even wise to adopt the attitude that ” it won’t happen to me”.  With the wealth of technical information and online capabilities, a 12 year old with above average intelligence and a panache for IT can steal you blind.

What to do about this new world that we live in?    You have to try to get in front of the bad guys.   You have to think like them and most of all you have to understand that paranoia is one of your best defences.   The reason that paranoia is the best state of mind to be in is because they are definitely after you.   The bad guys are after your money, identity, Intellectual Property and everything else that you consider valuable.

So if paranoia is your first line of defence then you also need other things to help protect yourself.   This is where the other components of a personal and business security framework comes into its own.    Making sure that you do as much as possible to protect yourself is the first step in truly understanding your opponent.

Most of the cybercrime attacks (98%) are the opportunistic criminal, like normal criminals, if you leave it lying around they will steal it.   It is easier and quicker to break a window or kick in a door for the chance to quickly steal your wallet than it is to plan a full blown robbery.   In cybercrime terms this is mostly done by automated applications that search the Internet for  system vulnerabilities, once found they are exploited, come to that once found you no longer own your computer, phone or tablet.

The other 2% are the truly gifted cyber criminal, but that number is growing.   These are the people with SKILLS, they talk in ones and zeros and in our digital world they can strip you down before you even realise that you have been attacked, and worst of all they will continue to attack you long after the initial attack or until they are found.

So get Paranoia, use common sense and most of all instigate a security framework that will continue to protect your business, your staff and most importantly your clients.

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.