International cyber security expert Dr Greg Epiphaniou has warned Milton Keynes business leaders about the perils of hactivists, phreakers and crackers, the new names for those who threaten our connected world,
MK Business Leaders Partnership members were briefed on ‘The Perils of Cyber Security’ at a breakfast meeting by Greg, who is a senior lecturer in the subject at the University of Bedfordshire.
He talked about the incredible expanding scale and reach of the cyber realm, and the huge challenge of maintaining cyber security.
By 2020 there will be more than 24 billion devices connected around the world. Search engines already index up to 1.2 billion websites while the actual number of sites, including those in the so-called dark web, is in excess of 3.12 trillion!
“Computers that learn your shopping and browsing habits already know more about you through your wallet than a close relative could tell you,” Greg said.
“Put all these things together and we get complexity, and security hates complexity,” Greg said.
Greg talked about the threats to businesses from hactivists, phreakers and crackers and said we live in an age when someone on another continent can remotely hack into a network server and damage a factory production line thousands of miles away.
Cybercrime costs the UK economy billions of pounds annually. “It is not a case of if you are going to be hacked – it is when,” he said.
While cyber security is no longer an IT-related problem, and has now been taken outside the IT department, Greg said 80 per cent of cyber-attacks could actually be prevented through simple measures, like using strong passwords.