Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Cyber security breaches getting more deadly..

Every time we log into an online service be it email service or banks or an ecommerce site planning to purchase something, even checking our Aadhaar card, we are exposing ourselves to the vast challenges of cyber security. We are exposing ourselves to cyber criminals who are waiting to pounce on us and steal our online credentials to hold us cyber prisoners to make a quick buck or damage our reputation.

So what is the best solution to prevent cyber crimes ? Shut down all your online accounts and accesses and start living in a very physical world .. Looks like an Utopia, we cannot spend a day without checking our professional and personal emails, we cannot spend an hour without checking our online social media accounts. At least once in two days we check our online bank accounts, and not frequently our e-commerce and rail booking , bus ticket booking sites etc.

As  per an article in the Harvard Business Review of Dec 2017, on an average a US citizen has 191 online accounts and more frequently he uses the same password across multiple sites. Globally the picture may not be that grim as online activity is restricted by access and reach for the popularity and convenience of an online life.  It is also found that in case of a security breach, on an average, the cyber criminal would be able to hack into 10% of your online accounts, that's a clean 20 online accounts that are compromised. Scary !!

As humanity gets more advanced and sophisticated, our onliner presence is only going to increase and the number of passwords we need to remember keeps on increasing. 

The first and biggest risk of online presence is that most of us are averse to using many passwords and having to remember all of them. Instead we use convenient, short passwords repeated across sites or with minor modifications. Having access to online convenience thus brings us and exposes us to manifold problems and challenges.

So, what is an effective solution to prevent cyber criminals from unauthorisedly accessing our accounts and causing harm, reputation-wise and monetary-wise ?

Having a two tier security access to sites would be the best solution to this predicament.  Google has recently started practicing this across sites. If Google observes multiple access from different sites and server geographies, it asks to use an OTP sent to our mobile phones to gain access.

Even if one accesses Google mail from a different computer or a public terminal, Google would immediately ask for an OTP to be entered which will be sent to your mobile phone. This prevents unauthorised access to Gmail most of the time. Thanks to Google's innovative and smart security system, our online data storage, email, blogs, YouTube account are very safe. Imagine the havoc it would create globally if Google becomes a bit lax with it's security like Yahoo compromised it's user security some years back and is busy presently settling expensive customer litigations.

What other methods can Internet utility and ecommerce websites deploy to increase web security and data privacy ? It is a perennial question that bogs down all products and service offering to customers cutting across regions, languages, geographies, beliefs and values. Out there in the cyber world, it is a constant battle for supremacy between the web crackers and cyber security specialists as no solution is long-lived, barely two years on an average, before a newer cyber crime format  crops up and brings great havoc ..

This is the great price we have to pay for online convenience !!

Click here for a download of this case ..

George ..


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