A History of Cyber Security: How Cyber Security Has Changed in the Last 5 Years

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is the first National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Week one focuses on history and how cybersecurity is a shared responsibility providing “simple online tips to empower all Americans to be safer online.”

Unfortunately, nearly everyone who uses a computer is now familiar with viruses, adware, ransomware and other forms of disruptive hacking. Cyber-attacks are now far too commonplace.

Looking Back Five Years

As little as five years ago, most computer users probably did not think that much about protecting their personal data from online thieves, but according to CNN Moneytech author David Goldman, “The cyber Mafia has already hacked you.”

In his July, 2011 article Goldman stated that “large, organized crime syndicates have been launching sophisticated attacks against individuals and major corporations for decades. The result of their efforts is the theft of billions of dollars every year, and a large, ongoing presence in many of our most sensitive computer systems.”

The Threat Goes Global

Although cyber-attacks have been around for a long time, the intensity and danger is increasing as organized crime, foreign governments and individuals with an axe to grind target everything from individual credit card data to entire infrastructures.

Foreign governments know that all the systems we use every day are highly dependent on computers and the internet. They are stepping up their attacks with calculated precision.

Most individuals and organizations of all sizes are now acutely aware of the dangers that come with using a computer or mobile device. The dangers associated with phone use are increasing geometrically as more and more apps request access to personal data. Hackers are aggressively targeting cell phones where users blindly allow apps to access their location and all kinds of personal information. Cell phone use has exploded in the past five years and brings with it an incredible window of opportunity for cyber attackers.

Government Officials Ramp up Cyber Security Efforts

The U.S. government is intensely aware of all cyber activities and has dramatically increased their efforts to fight cyber-crime over the past several years.

This Council of Foreign Relations article states that “In March 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper identified cyberattacks as the greatest threat to U.S. national security.”

He says that the physical and virtual assets and systems that run the country are highly vulnerable. Attacks are more sophisticated, more frequent and disruptive. Nearly everyone, including policy makers and cyber industry experts agree that the energy infrastructure is the most vulnerable target because nearly every other industry depends on water, electricity and gas.

A successful attack on a single power generation facility could take out entire cities and all the commerce conducted in those cities.

Preventing Cyber Attacks

Experts associated with Cyber Security Week suggest that educating the public and private sectors is the best way to prevent and combat cyber security. To find out how secure your network is, visit shieldtest.com. Then, visit www.mydigitalshield.com to learn how to improve your network security.