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Cyber (In)Security

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Looking to the future, Cisco IBSG predicts there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020. While much of this increased access and usage has moved world knowledge and convenience forward in previously unimaginable ways, it has brought with it a host of less than desirable outcomes.

Summary

The world we live in and the way we interact with it has shifted exponentially in the past several decades. Almost no single interaction or activity carried out today is immune from technology’s impact. All of this convenience and technological advancement has exposed each of us – even those without a smart phone – to cyber dangers that were nonexistent only a short time ago.

Adopting a set of common sense security practices can go a long way to helping you make safe use of what technology has to offer. To that end, this newsletter offers best practices to prevent being hacked, how to detect if you’ve been hacked, and steps to take in the event you become a victim of a cyber crime. It’s a complex individual balancing act between openness and privacy; security and access; convenience and protection; and brings with it a new way of thinking about personal security.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • In its earliest days, web architecture was constructed to facilitate collaboration and idea generation among trusted peers with legitimate intentions. Key decisions were made at the outset to favor rapid and “democratized” informational flow and access. Good for growth; bad for security.    
  • The motivations for unsavory Internet usage are no longer as “simple” as individuals wanting to perpetrate fraud for financial gain. Increasingly, government-backed terrorism, hacks to prove one’s intellectual prowess, and sophisticated globally based crime rings carry out corporate and geo-political espionage. All of this makes prevention extremely difficult.    
  • The focus has shifted to detection, remediation, and recovery. There are a number of best practices that can be adopted to help frustrate and slow would-be hackers.    
  • Remediation of fraud and hacks is time consuming and costs businesses, government entities, and individuals many, many hours and tens of millions of dollars to rectify and address. Nevertheless, it is an effort that no individual or business can ignore.

Disclosures

Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates do not render tax or legal advice.

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