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The year of the cyber take-out?

Inequality and non-inclusion are two evils that can really bring a city to its knees

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I don’t know about you, but how safe are you feeling right now? I’m feeling decidedly skittish. There’s the killer air in London threatening to crumble your lungs as you run for a bus, lies are no longer lies but ‘alternative facts’, and the shadow of cyber attacks loom large both in anticipation and facilitation.

 

Lloyds banking Group is the latest to be targeted suffering a disruption of service for two days. This time no ransom was paid and no accounts were hacked but in the banking world this type of attack is becoming all too familiar.


Meanwhile over in Saudi Arabia, organisations have been warned to be on the look out for the Shamoon virus, which disables computers entirely by wiping their hard drives. The labour ministry reported an attack while a large chemicals firm reported disruptions to ist network.


Could 2017 be the year that cyber criminals take out valuable infrastructure? Maybe, maybe not. There’s no doubt that digital assets are accompanied by possible risks, but technology alone isn’t the only answer to minimising these. Set procedures and organisation are part and parcel of the mix. Outdated computer systems for example, present easy ways in for cyber criminals.


In an unprecedented move the Singapore government announced last year that from May, public servants will be blocked from accessing the internet from work computers. There would also be a ban on forwarding work emails to private addresses -- all in a bid to halt any information leaks from work e-mails or shared documents.


The counter argument runs that this will drive more people to work on their private systems that could count as an even bigger security risk. You decide.


Robust protection should be part and part of any device and system, not just an after thought and add on. Cyber attacks attempted and otherwise are the downside of smart living, but don’t be distracted. There are greater threats out there -- inequality and non-inclusion being two of them, which with all their combined repercussions can really bring a city to its knees.


Melony Rocque
Editor

 

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