My first encounter of computer breach happened almost 40 years ago when I just started as a systems programmer after graduating from MIT. My computer terminal was mis-behaving at random intervals. Sensing a potential intruder, I wrote a small system utility to monitor and trap the offender. Once trapped, my utility would identify and lock the hacker’s computer, display a 5-second count down clock and promptly crash the computer when the clock ticked to 0. It didn’t take long to identify and confront the culprit. I smacked his head with a rolled up newspaper!
Fast forward to now. With the proliferation of Internet, cyberhackings are much more frequent, complex and damaging nowadays. We hear and remember high-profile ones like Equifax, Home Depot, Target, Sony… But according to 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, almost 50% of small businesses got hacked.
“Most small-business owners don’t think they’re at risk. As a result, … they are indeed ill-prepared to safeguard against an attack,” said Bryan Seely, a network engineer famous for hacking into the FBI.
You, my business customers, are small businesses. I have to care. I don’t want you to fail. Yes, I know about antivirus software, firewalls and encryption. But that’s baby stuff and I know there’s so much that I don’t know. So,
In a moment of insanity, I signed up a course on Cybersecurity: Technology, Application and Poilicy from MIT xPro. I instantly regretted my witless decision after looking at the ridiculous syllabus, plus there’s a test weekly for 6 weeks before the final exam. Arrrrgh.
It started this week…. and I’m happy to report that MIT professors haven’t changed. It’s fire hose water boarding time. I just took week 1 assessment test…. We’ll see.
Drop me a line if you are curious about information flow tracking, taint propagation, trusted computing base, fully homomorphic encryption or obliviuos random access memory.
Am I having fun yet?!