Steve Morgan Interview. Photo: Cybercrime Magazine.

The Full Story On Cybersecurity

WSHU Public Radio brings Steve Morgan on the air Listen Here

Di Freeze, Managing Editor

Northport, N.Y. – Dec. 3, 2019

Ron Ropiak, host and producer of WSHU Public Radio’s talk show “The Full Story,” invited Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and Editor-in-Chief for Cybercrime Magazine, onto his program yesterday afternoon.

The discussion covered cybercrime damage costs, and what businesses and consumers can do to protect themselves against cyberattacks and data breaches.

Here’s the transcript:

Ropiak: Steve Morgan is with us. Steve is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cybercrime Magazine. Steve, how are you?

Morgan: Very good. Nice to be here.

Ropiak: Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it. Steve Morgan, I read your article that you have up on your website. I want to bring up a number that you quote. I think it was in 2021, not next year but the year after, it’s predicted cybercrime damages will cost the world 6 trillion dollars on an annual basis. Is that an accurate number?

Morgan: It is, and it’s up from about 3 trillion in 2015, to give you an idea of how fast it’s growing.

Ropiak: That’s incredible. Do people realize how much money we’re talking about?

Morgan: Do people realize? They’re starting to realize. Governments realize. Big businesses realize. I don’t think consumers realize until something happens to them.

Ropiak: There’s something else that you were writing about. It was that all the information that we’re talking about. Today, it’s Cyber Monday, so we’re concerned about security and buying things and whether or not our credit cards are going to be hacked. It’s been written that all the information, our information, has already been stolen and is already now out there on the dark web. Is that accurate?

Morgan: It is accurate. There’s varying degrees of information that’s out on the dark web and available for sale. It’s been there for the past decade and the amount of information continues to grow with the more recent hacks and data breaches that we’re seeing.

Ropiak: Steve Morgan is still with us. He’s the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cybercrime Magazine. Steve, I enjoyed reading your article today. Anyone can find it at your website. One or two things that I took away from it is that you wrote that every single business is going to be hacked and some point. No one will be immune. Is that correct?

Morgan: it’s true, and it’s true for consumers too. In fact, you’ve probably been hacked and just don’t know it.

Ropiak: When you say hacked, does that mean someone has come into my computer, into my phone, my laptop, whatever?

Morgan: Your phone, your laptop, your bank account. The number of transactions that are occurring are just too vast for most consumers to keep up with. There’s a lot of fraud that is 99 cents and 1.99. Such miniscule transactions. There are also the beginnings of a hack and you don’t even realize it. You’re going out shopping today. A lot of people are going out shopping. They’re going to be volunteering their email addresses when they really shouldn’t. So, to your question earlier, what can people be doing or what should they know? I think it starts with basic protection. Don’t give your email address. You don’t have to, even though a cashier makes you feel like you do. Because I guarantee you, read the papers and a week from now, two weeks from now, there will be a data breach that occurs on Cyber Monday, in the aftermath of Cyber Monday and the intense holiday season that we’re in the middle of.

Ropiak: You were saying about emails. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to stores where you’re filling out some application and some clerk turns to me and says, “And could I have your Social Security number,” and I’m like, what. But there are some who gladly hand it over.

Morgan: Cybercriminals prey on a lack of knowledge. They target the elderly. They target all kinds of demographics including shoppers who psychologically are conditioned to give up this information.

Ropiak: What should we all be watching out for over the next few weeks as we do our holiday shopping? If you could give me just two or three quick hints, suggestions, to protect ourselves.

Morgan: I’ll protect all of your readers. I’ll give you all a holiday gift. Pay attention. Write this down. Turn on MFA — multi-factor authentication — in your email. Some email programs call it 2FA — two-factor authentication. That is in Gmail, in AOL Mail, in every consumer version of email. Turn that switch on. If you turn that on, and if a hacker has access to your emails, when they log in, they’re going to be prompted for something in addition to a password. They’ll need a code that’s texted to your cellphone. If they don’t have your phone, they won’t get into your email. Way too many people don’t know about that. It’s the best protection. Turn it on. 

Di Freeze is Managing Editor at Cybersecurity Ventures.