Cyber sense – 2022 Reflections pt. 1

Reflection is an analytical tool that contributes to growth, understanding and potentially, if you can take it far enough, future strategy. Faster Networks write fortnightly articles about anything newsworthy and of interest under the general umbrella of cybersecurity. We get wrapped up sometimes in cyber celebrities, think Elon Musk and Sam Bankman-Fried of late but equally dig deep into fraud, scams, identity theft and large scale data breaches and privacy laws. We act as an alarm to take heed, protect your worth and act on red flags. We very much understand that there are no guarantees with cybersafety. If you are a citizen of the world, you are susceptible to fraud, you are digitally vulnerable. It is up to you to minimise your vulnerability, maintain security as best you can.

We learned that love scams, i.e. romance fraud is big business. At the beginning of the year the stats were staggering, 1 in 5 online scams were related to dating profiles. Everyone who has a dating profile or any social media profile can be a target. This is essentially someone pretending to be someone they are not. Much later in the year we found ourselves down the ‘trust’ rabbit hole following a Brene Brown seminar on Netflix, wondering how we maintain personal vulnerability but not lose ourselves before we are properly connected.

Where individuals have less control is with data breaches of big business, that includes any organisation with a large data bank and an online presence. What were Optus doing holding onto 100 points of digital ID for 7 years anyway? Turns out it was the law! The Optus saga has propelled the Federal Government to take action in creating a decentralised ID portal so that individuals no longer hand over certified copies of valuable identity documents to apply for accounts or other documents. 2022 has been scarring, the first half of the year, according to the data breach report from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, dealt 23 significant data breaches affecting more than 5000 people each, at least. Health providers/insurers, government organisations, educational institutions and financial services were hardest hit.

There are no guarantees when we sign up for an account in any industry that our data will necessarily remain private. The goal of the hackers is to do large sweeps of various data banks and sell the information in chunks on the dark web. Fraudsters are seeking various details from different providers to get a full profile that includes personal identifiers like name and DOB and ends with personal records of tax and access of services like health and education. Literally building a replica of individuals without their knowledge.

Faster Networks is reflecting in 2 chunks because it is important to sit with this, absorb the teachings and untie the knots that have formed, not just in our stomachs but in our digital lives. The crossover of our digital lives is real. Can we zoom out and create a big picture that allows us to swim in laps to our own pace to create order but with whatever stroke fits best, for freedom of thought and imagination. The rules are ours to make. To be continued…