It’s not every day you’re asked to spend time on the radio to talk about Cybersecurity. So when we were invited on to the Channel Radio station, to speak on the #BBunker Radio show, down in Ashford we, of course, couldn’t turn it down.
So it was that on a cold November morning, in Yorkshire that I stood on the concourse of a frosty Wakefield station heading over 300 miles to meet with the team at Channel Radio.
I get excited whenever I am asked to speak about Cybersecurity but to have the opportunity to reach a wider audience through this show was a special treat for me. After a couple of trains, a slight delay, and a taxi journey I arrived at the station, where I met with Liz Nevvit of Dedicate Recruitment. As we may our introductions we were joined by the host of the show Paul Andrews, who escorted us to the studio.
You’re live on air… Do not swear
Paul graciously took us through the format of the show and gave us a brief understanding of the business community the show serves. This helped me to understand how Cyberfort and I could add value and allowed me to tailor my delivery for the intended audience. That’s not to say I covered less, but Paul explained that the small to medium companies which listened in need practical advice and guidance and respected straight talking. This was music to my ears, as that accurately reflects my approach and what we’re doing at Cyberfort.
As Paul outlined the technical aspects of working in a studio (ensuring we used the mics correctly etc.) we were joined by ‘Bird on a bike’. Together they made sure Liz and I understand what the next steps were and how the show would run.
Once the show began, Paul and ‘Bird’ introduced several topics, and in a relaxed and jovial environment explored the size of the SME market, the need for greater investment into charities which Paul is involved in, and even had time to explore Bird’s new business venture!
First up was Liz Nevitt of Dedicate Recruitment Ltd, providing a brief update on her background and journey from Hays recruitment to her decision of starting a recruitment business, which focuses on two niches’; Recruitment for the Education sector, but focusing on Financial specialists. Liz explained how important it is to get to understand the needs of the client so that she can place candidates that will be a positive fit and a good fit for the culture.
Cultural fit and values are clearly important, and something that Liz works hard to understand so that both candidate and the client are happy. As she said, “There’s no better feeling than getting that fit right and having a candidate take up a new position.”
After a brief break, we were back on air, and it was my turn. Providing a brief overview of my introduction into Cybersecurity, and my journey from an internal consultant through to becoming a specialist in Cybersecurity and Data Protection.
As I weaved the story of how Cyberfort came into being, I reminded the listeners that Cybersecurity isn’t just an IT discipline. It’s about people, premises, processes, PCs and providers. There’s more to the topic than Firewalls. Making the point that Data security is a people problem, not a technical one.
Covering Cybersecurity, we moved through the importance of taking practical steps to protect yourself. “Don’t become the next victim” I told listeners, reminding them of the 80’s campaign for ‘Neighbourhood watch’. In that campaign, we were told to lock our doors and windows and watch out for each other. Do what you can to protect yourself – even the simplest methods of protecting yourself may put you ahead of those around you.
It’s a numbers game
I explained how this, for the cybercriminal, is simply a numbers ‘game’. They have gone online like traditional businesses have because they’re simply following where we go. This naturally took us into the world of Phishing, as I explained that over 3.4bn spam emails are sent daily. Some of the scams are sophisticated, while others are not. But they only need a small percentage to be successful in making the whole thing highly profitable.
Innovation: Did video kill the radio star?
During the show, we discussed innovation and how organisations like Netflix dominate in a market which ‘no one saw coming’, and how Airbnb saw a gap in the market and innovated there. But in truth, did they see a gap? Perhaps. But more likely they saw a need and developed something that fulfilled that need. The gap didn’t exist. They innovated in a service industry that’s been around for millennia.
This is the same for Cybercrime. There’s nothing new because Cybercrime hasn’t killed the scammer, they have merely received an upgrade. They have innovated and gone where people are; Online. This is just Crime 2.0.
Although we were talking for 20 minutes, it seemed to go so quickly, and we covered a lot of ground. In closing I let the listeners know that we are running an event on the 27th November at The Bunker, where people could hear from a range of speakers (including myself), where the attendees would receive not only a tour of the facility, and practical advice. They would also receive £1,000 worth of free tools to help them start to protect themselves. These told are provided by an organisation which we are supporting, and who provide free tools for the SME community in a Government-backed initiative.
As the session ended, and we came off the air we continued to discuss areas where people are most vulnerable and what steps people can take to protect themselves. I wish we would have been able to continue because it’s an important topic, and I only wish I could have a regular slot! Perhaps a ‘Cyber Tip of the Week’ would be appreciated?
I’ll no doubt cover these discussions in another blog, but if you’re interested to know more then please come to our event on the 27th November. You won’t regret it.
So, all that remained was a long train journey back to a very cold Yorkshire, which gave me plenty of time to catch up on emails. Sadly, seeing that another company had reached out asking for help due to being hit with malicious software. Their company now crippled, as they are unable to access data. What is that data? Recipes for a confectionary business that employs 25 people.
The message is clear; Everyone is a target. If you have Data, it has value. It needs to be protected. The team and I are now working with them to get them back on their feet.
It was a long journey home, and it was cold. Jon Snow of ‘Games of Throne’ fame was right. Winter is coming! Question is; Are you ready for it?
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