Most of Us Are Vulnerable

I saw this study recently, where most people think they are better-than-average drivers in the US. I thought about it myself afterward, and I think I’m maybe average. I do pay attention most of the time, I try to be more careful when it’s wet or snowy and give myself more time to slow down. I  try to be aware of the other cars and obstacles on the road. I also usually have a drink (coffee, soda, water) with me, and I certainly mess with the music player. The Tesla reminds me constantly when I’ve strayed near a line, so a few months of driving seems to tell me I’m not great. Certainly not above average.

I would expect that most of us think we’ve done a good job with security for our systems.  We don’t expect to get hacked or deal with ransomware. I don’t know how realistic that is, as a recent set of penetrations tests shows the vast majority of networks are vulnerable.

It sounds bad, and it is. It also is not likely to change as the complexity of many networks is high. There are so many devices, constant additions and changes to services and applications, and regular requests to grant access to a new group. It’s amazing there is any security at all, given how quickly people want to access systems and how impatient they are when they can’t connect.

The data doesn’t show that every system is wide open, but there are ways in which every network can be disrupted. Whether this is significant or not is hard to assess, but given the reports I see in media, as well as private notes from friends, I suspect that most companies have plenty of work to do.

It’s not all had work, however. I think many people that configure networks are careful and are wary of opening firewalls. The bigger problem, which continues to exist, is likely simple passwords from far too many people. That, combined with a lack of multi-factor authentication being rolled out, means that there a lot of simple changes that could make a big difference. I know my company rolled out a corporate password manager recently to all employees. This, combined with our MFA app on mobile devices means that we should have strong passwords and better verification of legitimate access for most systems.

At least, I hope we do.

Steve Jones

 

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2 Responses to Most of Us Are Vulnerable

  1. JeffModen says:

    Cars and trucks are becoming more and more distracting every year. The screen on the center of the console shows actually shows a message that says taking your eyes off the road is a bad idea and then requires you to press a bloody on-screen “button” to clear it! BRILLIANT! (not). It also has no brightness control so that when the backup camera comes on at night, you can’t actually see out the windows to the rear view mirrors.

    And, those “here’s where you vehicle is going” red lines that show up on screen when you’re backing up??? Yeah… I did some testing for things within 10 feet… you know… the critical range where you’re most likely going to hit something on one side of the lines or the other? If you actually trust them, you WIILL hit something and, ironically, the close you get to an object, the worse the error is.

    When it comes to driving, I remind myself that at just 60 miles per hour, you’re traveling at 88 feet per second. I’m not a white-knuckler by any means but I don’t take my eyes off the road for more than a fleeting glance at one of the mirrors and my peripheral vision always gives “clues” from the rearview mirror.

    Some relax a bit at 25-45 in town… I don’t. That’s actually where you’re most likely to have an accident from someone looking at their cell phone, talking on it, putting on makeup, eating some lunch, looking at the radio, looking at a passenger while they talk, or just being stupid (all of the previous also fall in that category). I’ve actually seen people typing on a mounted laptop while they’re driving!

    This is why I drive a truck. It’s not a truck… it’s body armor. 😀 Instead of having a nice one, I should buy an old but reliable beater that looks like hell and make it look like parts are falling off when someone is tail-gating. 😀 And, no… my phone stays in my pocket while I’m driving. I won’t answer it nor even look at it while underway.

    I’m thinking that my behavior while driving isn’t what most people do.

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