Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
It wasn’t too long ago when hackers, shutting down the mainframe, corrupting the system, and various other tech jargon was reserved to optimistic science fiction and overzealous TV shows. Yet the world is changing, suddenly technology and the web are at the forefront of almost every life in the western world.
Even for those attempting to escape technology, the government has adapted it in unavoidable ways. Things like digital government resources, infrastructure controlled through cyberspace, and the general hoarding of information and data makes existing in society an inherently web influenced process.
And all of these same factors are subject to cyber attack. While there are of course dangers around privacy and the leaking of information, especially in financial sectors. The dangers around losing government sites and organization as well as the physical destruction of infrastructure and power grids tend to pose far greater risk.
Cyber attacks are enacted in the cyber landscape, but they have effects that easily dip into the physical. Ukraine is one country that has seen consistent attacks through their conflict with Russia. As early as 2015 Russian hackers were suspected to cause an electrical outage that affected upwards of 230,000 Ukrainians. Even as recent as January, as the war began, 70 Ukrainian key sites were downed at once.
This all goes to highlight exactly how important cybersecurity has become. This isn’t just reserved on a country wide scale either, individual companies being breached lose an average of $4.24 million per occurrence. And while most attacks today are on financial services and institutions, the individual consumer can never be too aware of their potential risks.
In response individuals are working more now than ever to ensure their safety. Measures like backing up digital data, keeping things updated and secure, changing passwords, and even having cash reserves can be a range of ways to keep oneself safe. None of these can do much against large scale cyber attacks and cyber war though.
Governments hold the power in this respect. War in today’s climate is no longer just a physical and political movement, it now holds a digital component that must not be ignored. And while the U.S is commonly perceived as the most digitally secure nation, its similarities to Ukrainian systems were not unnoted. Technology is very streamlined, and that comes with a host of benefits and downsides.
So while the next big movie or TV show that comes out with a hacker that causes half of a country to shut down probably isn’t very realistic. It displays a real principle, technology runs today’s world. And while an individual, or even small groups of individuals probably can’t do too much, that still leaves the question of what a focused government can do. These are the dangers of cyber attacks.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked