Haunted Hayrides and Security Awareness

I’ve always loved haunted hayrides.

I’m not talking about hayrides where you sit freezing your candycorn off listening to some retired third-grade teacher drone on about the history of the early settlers who first farmed that land. I’m talking about the wretched ones, where one moment it’s pitch black and silent, anxiously waiting for the inevitable horror beyond the next graveyard, and the next moment it’s deafening, you’re screaming and choking on chainsaw exhaust, the cold steel of the neutered blade brushing your leg, fake blood spattering hay-strewn victims, only to be whisked away to a heavenly reprieve of cider donuts and hot chocolate.

People love to be scared. Whether it’s witches or zombies, Jason or Michael Myers, everyone loves that super-heightened sense of awareness from feeling like anything could happen.

It’s time we figure out how to bring a little bit of that feeling to our professional and personal lives.

Welcome to October, National CyberSecurity Awareness Month!

For many years now, we’ve known that people have been a major weakness in the cybersecurity chain. Of the significant databreaches that occurred in 2011, over 80% of them started with or incorporated some type of social engineering attack. This means that at some point along the way, people failed.

Interestingly, very few of these cases were situations where people acted in a malicious manner. In fact, nearly all of these cases were situations where there were accidental violations of policy, or where people had good intentions but violated policy to get their jobs done or where people had no idea that they had done anything wrong.

In these cases, the business failed.

Like Michael Myers, Freddie Kruger and other famous movie killers, cybercriminals don’t play by any rule book. They can strike anywhere, at anytime. This fluidity gives them a distinct advantage over the good guys – the bad guys only have to be right one time, the good guys have to be right every time. This imbalance asserts that a heightened sense of awareness is critical if Haddonfield is going to make it through another Halloween.

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Luckily, there are a lot more good guys than bad guys, all we have to do is arm them. Jamie Lee Curtis

had plenty of determination, if someone had just given her some sewing needles in the beginning of the movie there would’ve been no Halloween II.

The beauty of horror movies is, we can turn them off if we want to. Not so for cybercrime. If we’re going to make it through this epic series, we need more good guys armed with sewing needles. We need more good guys with determination.

This October, as you’re shopping for peanut butter cups and Halloween decorations, do your home, business and planet some good and think about the role you play in cybersecurity. This ain’t no movie. The Michael Myers we’re fighting is real. He’s out there and he wants your identity. He wants your bank account.

He’s probably already got your credit card and SSN.

Think about this as your shopping for a costume.

I recommend the Laurie Strode.


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About regharnish

CEO of GreyCastle Security

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