All of the controversy around the issues of the Russian intervention in the US and other country's elections sometimes covers how important cyber security and the ability of IT networks to be secure is to everyday activity. If the general media was only focused on the political consequences of hacking of IT systems we would not hear about how some of the daily things we do are affected.
Some headlines which show Canada is not immune to the issues:
Canadian SMBs hit by ransomware paid out $5.7 million over 12 months: Survey
Interac outlines how it plans to secure Canada's digital identity service
Cyber security a focus of UN Internet governance conference
Canadian firm pays $425,000 to recover from ransomware attack
The costs associated with building systems, acquiring protection software and spending time to keep on top of current threats are all things which we as consumers end up paying for as they get incorporated into the costs of the goods and services which we use.
A recent CNN summary itemizes some of the biggest stories which have occurred including the 145 million accounts from the Equifax hack, the announcement the total of 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2013 and closer to home the fact an Ancaster hacker connected to Russians has now pleaded guilty to hacking up to 500 million Yahoo accounts from 2014.
These kinds of events kind of make use glaze over as we figure there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves but we do know that Canadian organizations are forced to spend large amounts to attempt to build protections for us.
We end up having to deal with less convenient systems as things like double authentication security start being applied to our online accounts. Cumbersome conventions which force us to not be able to directly connect to some financial activity without using fairly difficult security procedures frustrate people and lead them to avoid using electronic systems.
Of course the convenience provided by electronic communications including credit and debit transactions hook most of us into continuing to stay connected and to hope that our information will be held secure by the organizations we buy from. Every effort which can be made to help secure online transactions (which include most cash register systems) will pay dividends in consumer confidence hopefully.
Looking ahead to 2018 we can only hope that cyber security will remain a high priority for the legitimate IT industry and that break throughs can occur which will frustrate those who seek to illegitimately use electronic data.
Photo credit: By ITSveronica (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons