Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Why You Shouldn’t Get Excited About Gold Price Mini-Rally - 26th Jan 21
The Truth About Personal Savings Everybody Should Know and Think About - 26th Jan 21
4 Economic Challenges for 2021 - 26th Jan 21
Scan Computers 2021 "Awaiting Picking" - 5950x RTX 3080 Custom PC Build Stock Status - 26th Jan 21
The End of the World History Stock Market Chart : Big Pattern = Big Move - 26th Jan 21
Stock Market Recent Sector Triggers Suggest Stocks May Enter Rally Phase - 26th Jan 21
3 Top-Performing Tech Stocks for 2021 - 26th Jan 21
5 Tips to Manage Your Debt - 26th Jan 21
Stock Market Intermediate Trend Intact - 25th Jan 21
Precious Metals Could Decline Before their Next Attempt to Rally - 25th Jan 21
Great Ways of Choosing Good CMMS Software for a Business - 25th Jan 21
The Dark Forces behind American Insurrectionists - 25th Jan 21
Economic Stimulus Doesn’t Always Stimulate – Pushing On A String - 25th Jan 21
Can Karcher K7 Pressure Washer Clean a Weed Infested Driveway? Extreme Power Test - 25th Jan 21
Lockdown Sea Shanty Craze - "Drunken Sailor" on the Pirate Falls Crazy Boat Ride - 25th Jan 21
Intel Empire Fights Back with Rocket and Alder Lake! - 24th Jan 21
4 Reasons for Coronavirus 2021 Hope - 24th Jan 21
Apple M1 Chip Another Nail in Intel's Coffin - Top AI Tech Stocks 2021 - 24th Jan 21
Stock Market: Why You Should Prepare for a Jump in Volatility - 24th Jan 21
What’s next for Bitcoin Price – $56k or $16k? - 24th Jan 21
How Does Credit Repair Work? - 24th Jan 21
Silver Price 2021 Roadmap - 22nd Jan 21
Why Biden Wants to Win the Fight for $15 Federal Minimum Wage - 22nd Jan 21
Here’s Why Gold Recently Moved Up - 22nd Jan 21
US Dollar Decline creates New Sector Opportunities to Trade - 22nd Jan 21
Sandisk Extreme Micro SDXC Memory Card Read Write Speed Test Actual vs Sales Pitch - 22nd Jan 21
NHS Recommends Oximeter Oxygen Sensor Monitors for Everyone 10 Months Late! - 22nd Jan 21
DoorDash Has All the Makings of the “Next Amazon” - 22nd Jan 21
How to Survive a Silver-Gold Sucker Punch - 22nd Jan 21
2021: The Year of the Gripping Hand - 22nd Jan 21
Technology Minerals appoints ex-BP Petrochemicals CEO as Advisor - 22nd Jan 21
Gold Price Drops Amid Stimulus and Poor Data - 21st Jan 21
Protecting the Vulnerable 2021 - 21st Jan 21
How To Play The Next Stage Of The Marijuana Boom - 21st Jan 21
UK Schools Lockdown 2021 Covid Education Crisis - Home Learning Routine - 21st Jan 21
General Artificial Intelligence Was BORN in 2020! GPT-3, Deep Mind - 20th Jan 21
Bitcoin Price Crash: FCA Warning Was a Slap in the Face. But Not the Cause - 20th Jan 21
US Coronavirus Pandemic 2021 - We’re Going to Need More Than a Vaccine - 20th Jan 21
The Biggest Biotech Story Of 2021? - 20th Jan 21
Biden Bailout, Democrat Takeover to Drive Americans into Gold - 20th Jan 21
Pandemic 2020 Is Gone! Will 2021 Be Better for Gold? - 20th Jan 21
Trump and Coronavirus Pandemic Final US Catastrophe 2021 - 19th Jan 21
How To Find Market Momentum Trades for Explosive Gains - 19th Jan 21
Cryptos: 5 Simple Strategies to Catch the Next Opportunity - 19th Jan 21
Who Will NEXT Be Removed from the Internet? - 19th Jan 21
This Small Company Could Revolutionize The Trillion-Dollar Drug Sector - 19th Jan 21
Gold/SPX Ratio and the Gold Stock Case - 18th Jan 21
More Stock Market Speculative Signs, Energy Rebound, Commodities Breakout - 18th Jan 21
Higher Yields Hit Gold Price, But for How Long? - 18th Jan 21
Some Basic Facts About Forex Trading - 18th Jan 21
Custom Build PC 2021 - Ryzen 5950x, RTX 3080, 64gb DDR4 Specs - Scan Computers 3SX Order Day 11 - 17th Jan 21
UK Car MOT Covid-19 Lockdown Extension 2021 - 17th Jan 21
Why Nvidia Is My “Slam Dunk” Stock Investment for the Decade - 16th Jan 21
Three Financial Markets Price Drivers in a Globalized World - 16th Jan 21
Sheffield Turns Coronavirus Tide, Covid-19 Infections Half Rest of England, implies Fast Pandemic Recovery - 16th Jan 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

The Equifax Hack Must Be A Wake-Up Call To Redefine Digital Security

Companies / Cyber Crime Sep 27, 2017 - 06:23 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Companies

BY GEORGE FRIEDMAN : The Equifax hack must be the last straw in the saga of our inept computer industry. Critical information on the vast majority of American families was compromised.

To say that this was not a rare phenomenon understates it. There has been an endless array of stolen information—from the recent theft of still proprietary stock information from the Commerce Department to the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee.


The chances that information on computers will remain confidential has become slim at best. It must be assumed that if people wish to steal information, they will. (I’ll be addressing this very topic at our upcoming New York conference—you can learn more here.)

The “Stupid User” Defense

The computer industry has developed a defense that most industries have tried at one point or another: the “stupid user” defense. When a hack occurs, the spotlight turns to the victim who is said to be responsible for preventing such attacks.

Consider my favorite attack: phishing.

A phishing attack happens when someone receives an email and clicks on a malicious link in the email. This triggers a process where the program linked to the email searches for, finds, and transmits information from the computer to the sender of the email.

The view of the computer industry is that the responsibility for this attack rests with the stupid user who clicked on the link. The industry has made it clear that you should never click on a link from an unknown sender. Announcing this has passed on the industry’s responsibility to the end user.

But assume that a company had 5,000 employees. The probability that one person out of 5,000 would not click on the link is near zero. An effectiveness rate of 99.98% in preventing clicks would not be enough to prevent potential disaster. A business or individual would have to prevent all mistakes perfectly and permanently.

At a higher level, the industry blames the stupid administrator.

The security sold with servers, laptops, and the rest is primitive. In selling the equipment, the rule is caveat emptor—let the buyer beware. It is the job of the IT administrator not only to keep things running but also to acquire and maintain a host of security hardware and software to keep the system secure.

The problem is not that these tools are fiendishly expensive, but that they constantly become obsolete and have to be replaced.

Attackers’ Advantages

In the computer industry, the attacker always has an advantage. The defender must reconfigure his system to meet a new attack, which the attacker will make certain is novel and so not anticipated.

This new attack must be detected by users and communicated among them, then a defense must be developed and implemented. This process takes days or weeks.

For midsized and small businesses, maintaining constant awareness of new attacks and having the expertise to block them is absurd. And for the very largest businesses, the resources are never enough to prevent all errors in protection.

If the attacker fails, no one knows about it and he will live to fight another day. If the defender fails—and the computing system is so shabbily built that it generates failures by its own lack of sophistication—he is all over the front pages.

We all know that computing systems are liable to attack. We also know that the system is designed for failure. At some point, someone will commit an error and click on a malicious link.

Given the increasing tempo of attacks, expecting that administrators will never fall behind the curve is ridiculous.

Geopolitical Implications

Computer companies have pushed the responsibility for security on users, telling them to acquire third-party software and hardware.

Security not only costs significant amounts of money, but it also requires expertise in acquiring, integrating, and configuring the equipment. Finally, the third parties are themselves liable to error.

Although it’s a big legal issue—and I am fascinated that no one that I know of has brought suits against the computer industry for knowingly selling defective products—my real concern is geopolitical.

The world has become utterly dependent on computing. I am typing this on a computer, and my personal information was compromised on a computer. The attacks are mounting, and the vulnerability of our financial and military systems are under constant attack.

We cannot abandon computing, nor can we risk the consequences of using these systems. Nor will the “stupid user” explanation work when most users are as ignorant of computing as they are of the internal combustion engine.

The computer and the car have become utilities where the manufacturers are given great value by society. Cars have roads, and computers have access to the Internet. Both have utilitarian necessity.

But cars are expected to maintain certain safety features. It would seem reasonable that an industry whose failures can wreak havoc globally should be expected to build security into its own systems.

Grab George Friedman's Exclusive eBook, The World Explained in Maps

The World Explained in Maps reveals the panorama of geopolitical landscapes influencing today's governments and global financial systems. Don't miss this chance to prepare for the year ahead with the straight facts about every major country’s and region's current geopolitical climate. You won't find political rhetoric or media hype here.

The World Explained in Maps is an essential guide for every investor as 2017 takes shape. Get your copy now—free!

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules