For many in the technology sector, one of the most discussed topics in recent months has been digital fraud and online security. This is an area in which I have a great deal of interest, as it continues to play a significant role in the demand for specialist skills in the Financial Services & Banking Sectors.
Cybercrime today is not like the early days of virus writers and hackers who bragged about their exploits with friends. Today cybercrime is a serious business where actually most hackers do not want to be noticed as the longer they remain hidden in the network and are free to conduct their operations, the more information they can steal and the more money they can make.
It's difficult to imagine how cyber warfare could wreak the same havoc as traditional, conventional war. But as former director of national intelligence Mike McConnell once noted, cyber war has the potential to mirror the nuclear challenge - less in the physical sense, but in terms of the potential economic and psychological effects.
No piece of software is perfect or can ever be perfect. These imperfections within the code can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your computer. Once an exploit is found, it is patched by the software company which then sends an update to its users. This is the update that you keep ignoring.
The UK's National Cyber Security Strategy aims to increase the scale and impact of these efforts by building resilience globally and assisting those countries that lack the infrastructure and expertise to protect their cyberspace, while also working to ensure cyberspace supports innovation, economic growth and social benefits.
Security is now a question of trying to think like the attacker and assume that something bad will eventually happen. Today knowing what you are going to do before, during and after the attack is the thing that will make the difference and lessen the embarrassment and damage a breach could ultimately cause.
why is it we seem to value physical over digital so much? We often act very much more recklessly in the digital world than the physical. After all how many of us have taken directions from a friend or colleague to visit a certain website without a second thought? Few people take the trouble to check the validity of the website we are visiting before we go there, or even know what to look for.
We need to recognize that the cybercriminals who carry out today's attacks are professionals. They are well funded, well resourced and they bring in the right expertise to do the job they are paid to do. They are often in it for the long game and they will work for days, weeks, months or even years to find a weak link and exploit it.