Earlier this month, analysis conducted by cyber security professionals was published revealing some very interesting trends within Google search activity for the topic.
Just a simple search based around the term “cyber security” yields a staggering 691,000,000 results at the time of writing, for example, showing that it has indeed become a very popular area of interest.
To add further context, a dive into Google Trends numbers from January onwards reveals that “cyber security” was a search performed far more often than “cruise holidays” – vastly different searches, yes, but an eye-opening stat for this writer at least. (Additional unlikely* comparisons researched included “Cuba Holidays”, a personal favourite enjoying roughly half the interest of “cyber security” this year, and “Bahamas Holidays” with even less. *Unlikely in terms of relevance in the beginning, and then results in the end – again, to myself!)
So, to what do we owe this growth in awareness / curiosity?
The aforementioned analysis is pretty conclusive, naming 2017’s Equifax data breach and the 2014 Heartbleed OpenSSL cryptographic library vulnerability as the highest searched-for cyber security terms on Google ever.
Other high profile data breaches being searched for in volume included those against Marriott, TalkTalk and Ashley Madison, with search terms relating to “cloud”, “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) and “IOT” (Internet of Things) also experiencing much greater prominence now than ever before.
It is clear that people are becoming ever more aware of the increasing threat offered up by cyber criminals, this perhaps due in part to popular television shows such as Mr Robot or even Black Mirror, with its storylines based around IT and the ‘big brother’ mentality.
Perhaps the fact that we all now own and carry around incredibly powerful mobile phones, super computers in their own right, is but another illustration of just how affecting cyber-crime can be on our everyday lives now – certainly much more so than 10-15 years ago.
We asked CRIBB Cyber Security’s very own Patrick Carolan, Technical Director / Certification Auditor / International DPO, for his thoughts as to why cyber security is at the forefront of more minds than ever before:
“The impact of technology on our day-to-day lives is something that is ever growing. From the wrist watch to the internet-connected fridge, your WIFI connection, the booking systems used for travel and leisure down to the cars you drive, every single thing is digitised. Technology vitally effects both business and personal-related operations. No matter who you are or the size of your enterprise, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits. Yet we consistently forget that technology needs to be secured and constantly reviewed. In today’s world, it becomes ever-easier to obtain information through technology to manipulate systems. Gone are the days where malicious actors needed a degree to understand how to attack a device or a piece of software.
Today, malicious software and the know-how behind using it can be freely and easily obtained without the skillset required previously. Cyber-security, although once considered a secondary thought in business or your personal life, is now very much an urgent requirement. Cyber-security doesn’t mean buying an expensive company firewall or antivirus solution and then forgetting about it. Cyber-security is about common sense and regular review, awareness and updating processes that are truly fit for purpose.“
CRIBB Cyber Security offers Government-backed Cyber Essentials for baseline technology implementation, as well as the IASME Governance Standard which is an overall technology and information governance framework for your business environment.
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