Here’s what it takes to protect our data, identities and money. Judging by the defeatist stance of the security industry in reaction to high profile breaches of just about everything and everyone, and the billions lost every year by banks, credit card companies and brokerages, you might think that this whole cybersecurity thing is way beyond us. The experts claim the bad guys are unstoppable, that prevention is impossible, that it’s so complicated and so hard that the best we can do is buy cyber insurance and go hide under the bed. It’s as though, when it comes to protecting our data, identities and money, we’ve fallen and can’t get up.
Please. Let’s talk about that moonshot we pulled off. The computer in that capsule that transported three men—sitting on top of a Saturn V rocket, standing 363 feet in height and producing a ludicrous 7.68 million pounds (34 meganewtons) of thrust from five monstrous kerosene-gulping engines—to the moon, 233,455 miles away, where two of them landed, and brought them all back safely, mind you? That little gadget had less computing power than those learning toys for preschoolers.
You get the idea. We have this almost limitless track record of astounding accomplishment and yet, we seem to be willing to write off security online as something completely mysterious and beyond our abilities. Worse, we seem to be willing to accept defeat in this area, as if that were the best available option.