Should I Worry About All These Cyber Security Threats?

Cyber Security trainingIf you read the computer industry news regularly, you probably have noticed an uptick in the number of cyber security stories recently. There’s BadUSB, shellshock, attacks on JP Morgan and others… It’s pretty scary, right?

Well, while there are major threats, and those threats need to be addressed, there are three things to consider: first is the publisher’s adage, “If it bleeds it leads.” That is publishers use big scary stories to get readers’ attention. That’s not to discount the stories, per se, but let’s face it: fear sells.

The second issue is that it’s necessary to learn what the threats really are and how they apply to you at home and at work. Learning Tree is a training company, of course, and they have multiple security courses. Since I co-wrote Course 468, System and Network Security Introduction, I think that is a great place to start. If you don’t have time for a four-day course, some of the material is covered in Course 4520, Cyber Security: Key Elements for Success, a new 1-day course. I hope you take some of these courses and perhaps even pursue one of the expert certifications. But please don’t stop learning with formal courses!

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If you want to pursue cyber security, follow up on the threats mentioned in the industry or popular press. Use your favorite search engine and check out other articles on them. Some articles may have more technical details than the “fear-based” ones we often discover first. Others may point to specific acts one can take to detect or protect against a particular threat.

Which brings me to the third point: take action when you need to. No matter how much you know, you have to act. You may need to use a different encryption or password storage tool. You may need to update some firmware, or some other action may be required. But by learning about specific (and, of course, more general) threats, you will discover specific actions to take in order to help defend yourself and your organization from the threats you find in the press.

Let us know in the comments below what threats are concerning you and what you’ve learned about them that may not have been apparent at first glance. Also, what threats seem over-hyped?

To your safe computing,
John McDermott


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