Cyber Terrors. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Technology Is Pushing Humanity Off A Cliff

Night Terrors: What keeps cybersecurity experts up at night

Amanda Glassner

Northport, N.Y. – Apr. 13, 2021

Forget about monsters, when technology goes bump in the night, you’re in big trouble. In the past year, cybercrime spiked 600 percent, and by 2025, attacks are expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually — it’s dire we get ahead of these threats, but how?

“The best security offense is a good defense,” which starts with awareness, according to Scott Schober — chief security officer and media commentator at Cybercrime Magazine.

In our podcast series, Night Terrors, Schober spoke to five security experts about their most frightening cyber nightmares. Beware, their answers might leave you sleeping with the lights on, but there’s no turning back now — for your own good, keep reading.

“No one can offer 100 percent protection from cybercrime,” Schober said. “But when we work together and share information, we have a better fighting chance.”

Ranging from technology’s rapid advancement to artificial intelligence, data privacy, and soft target vulnerabilities, each guest’s terrors stemmed from their own respective disciplines, but they all “shared similarly troubling fears.”

“Cybersecurity practitioners need to get it right every time, whereas a cybercriminal only needs to exploit a single vulnerability once in order to profit. It’s a war of attrition on both sides and difficult to see just who has the edge on any given day,” explained Schober.

NIGHTMARES

Chris Roberts, chief security strategist at Cynet Security, warned listeners that “technology is slowly but surely pushing humanity off a cliff,” and we need to remember that it does “little to save us from ourselves.”


David Scott Lewis — who served as the model for Matthew Broderick’s character in the 1983 film War Gamesis plagued by the number of internationally published papers on artificial intelligence. “AI researchers in China have out-published all 29 NATO-member countries; it’ll be challenging for the U.S. to maintain a lead.”


Eric Vanderburg, well-known author, blogger, and thought leader, urged his audience to avoid technology-based complacency. “We’re already so intimate with our devices because we use them for personal relationships. If we’re not careful, we’ll end up fully lacking this element in our real lives.”


Private investigator John Hoda is concerned about soft target vulnerabilities in the U.S., such as infrastructure, food chain distribution, and air traffic control. “If an adversary wants to strike America and hit us hard, it’ll be with these soft targets. The destruction and fear-mongering would be instantaneous.”


Lastly, Magda Chelly — head of cyber risk consulting at Marsh Asia —  is unsettled by the global absence of data privacy and security, which was “compounded by lack of controls and a clear roadmap when organizations migrating to the cloud were concerned.”


“This is an important concern, and it’s not being addressed like it should be,” she told Schober — but really, the same can be said for every topic discussed on Night Terrors, as well as our host’s own fears, which he told us off tape.

“Cybercriminals are increasing ransomware attacks in both volume and demand,” cautioned Schober. “Individual targets have a limited threshold where they will pay to get their data back, so attackers set their sights on large infrastructures, including hospitals and municipalities, who are then tasked to get their networks up and running at any cost.”

Despite their alarming nature, with the necessary preparation, we can survive these apocalyptic cyber scenarios. We just need to “parse out the more sensationalized fears that the media typically runs with without neglecting the lesser-known threats.”

“It’s important to remember that humans are equal parts of the problem and the solution,” Schober remarked. “We need to share stories of being hacked, as they’re reminders that we’re all vulnerable, and they can benefit others who might have let their security habits lax — it’s the only way to maintain a strong defense.”

To hear more from Night Terrors, listen to the full podcast series here, and you can learn more about host Scott Schober by visiting his website.

Amanda Glassner is a staff writer and reporter at Cybercrime Magazine.

Go here to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity. Go here to send me story tips, feedback and suggestions.



Send this to a friend