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Event Summaries
October 8, 2015

Event Summary: ‘Cybersecurity’: The ultimate misnomer?

by
Henry Worth

In a digital age, the question on the minds of most people is how to maintain the security and privacy of their personal data online.  As such, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome an expert on cyber-security to Millbank Tower for a special talk.

Edward Lucas, is a Senior Editor at the Economist and author of “Cyberphobia” which looks at ways in which cyberspace is not the secure zone we may hope. Mr Lucas outlined that his new book delves into how passwords provide no significant obstacle to anyone intent on getting past them, and how anonymity is easily accessible to anyone.

Mr. Lucas began the event analysing the internet’s rapid growth. He spoke of how it has become the central nervous system to modern life. The problem, Lucas states, is that it was never meant for that purpose. He noted that while evolution gave us five senses, the internet only allows us to use one.

Mr Lucas also targeted his focus more directly to online security. Giving insight into the benefits of encryption, he first argued that no matter how much you spent, unless you encrypt yourself online, your network will be breached.

In a criticism towards the average internet user, he asserted that the common user has always chosen innovation over security. So long as this remains to be the case, we will continue to share more than we should. This is the reason, according to Lucas, why it has become easy for hackers to access information.

He later explained the great threat we face from cyber criminals today, and those carrying out simple crimes such as confidence and identity tricks. He argued e-banking fraud is proving to be the most problematic, concluding that there is are vast vulnerabilities regarding our banking system.