The four myths of cyber security.

Author:Kirk, Richard

Governments and corporations around the globe are facing a crisis in the form of cyber security threats.

Incidents and exploits crafted by an effective and growing menace are threatening the continuity of, and confidence in, the very core of our commercial and social infrastructure. In just 90 criminal investigations performed in 2008, where data compromise was confirmed, the Verizon Business RISK team (a leading computer forensics group) reported more than 285 million consumer credit records stolen. This number far exceeds the combined total confirmed for all their investigations from 2004 to 2007.

Organisations around the globe are failing to accept responsibility for their own security, instead blaming the inherent flaws and insecurity of the internet and claiming ignorance in the erroneous belief that security is a global problem and therefore everyone is to blame with no single company guilty. It's time to dispel these myths:

Myth One: World Leaders Are Responsible In Making The Internet Safe

Wrong. With cyber attacks threatening to bring down an entire country's digital systems by allowing foreign states to access them, it is clear that there's no magic wand now, or likely to be anytime soon for anyone.

Internet fraud is costing billions of pounds a year, and even Whitehall computer systems are facing repeated assaults from abroad, so UK ministers may be deemed either genius, or just desperate, in their decision to hire hackers to protect state secrets. In addition, June saw Gordon Brown appoint the first national cyber security chief, a senior civil servant called Neil Thompson, to protect the country from terrorist computer hackers and electronic espionage amid fears that the computer systems of government and business are vulnerable to online attack from hostile countries and terrorist organisations. Another tactic is that of the Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU) who has asked IT industry workers to volunteer in the fight against cybercrime.

Lets face it, the primary role of the police is to protect us and keep our property safe but if we decide to leave our doors and windows wide open they'd be the first to point out we were inviting trouble.

The UK government doesn't have the finances, resources or even the remit to make the entire internet a safe place for everyone that utilises it. It's trying to do the best it can--so should you.

Myth Two: I've Got A Firewall So I'm Safe

Wrong. A firewall isn't enough protection due to its...

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