Byte Me Article 446 – Good-Bye 2019

Good-Bye 2019

As the year offers up its final days, I hope that everyone enjoyed a good Christmas day, catching up with loved ones and opening unique and worthwhile presents!  Some of us saw the smallest amount of rain on Christmas day as a timely reminder of what we all really need and want.  It was enticing just to see the sheet lightning and hear deep rolling thunder – sights and sounds that have been missing for too long.

For several months I have been reflecting back on the biggest topics in IT for the year.  We have seen the SSD revolution, the coming demise of Windows 7, the evolving desktop PC landscape with a move toward the diminutive but powerful Micro PC, the release of our Eco PC range of Desktops & Laptops and the ‘infamous but helpful to some’ growth of NBN in more areas.  With all the above, what do I consider the biggest IT topic or change for the year?

I consider the rapid increase in Cybercrime to be the biggest story of 2019!  Lets’ have a brief look at history.  The Internet has rapidly connected you and I to the rest of the world.  This has included people that we will never meet that often scrounge out a living in a 3rd world or developing county – well away from the reaches of Western law and anything like what we call civilization.

Traditionally if these people even had a computer, they often joined a Cyber group that prided themselves in disruption.  They wrote viruses that wreaked havoc by slowing our PC’s down, or prevented them from operating – or worse yet, deleted our data.  They competed for notoriety and had their own digital tags, just like the urban graffiti artists have an identifying symbol.  They caused havoc & losses but rarely got our money.

These Cyber groups soon became aligned with major organised crime syndicates and were soon plotting and discovering new ways to make Cybercrime pay.  Elaborate scams and extorsion have taken over from simply creating computer havoc and disruption.  These people now have a taste for our money and have an insatiable appetite for it. 

When this first started happening in small numbers 10 and 15 years ago, our banks were content to replenish the money themselves – while they could keep pushing customer out onto the Internet and firing another 5,000 tellers.  Now they have us familiar with Internet banking and cringing at the thought of their in-bank service cues, they have stopped covering the missing amounts and are content to let us wear the consequences.

Now everyone knows someone who has been scammed.  It is common place for everyday citizens to lose a best a couple of hundred or at worst a couple of thousand.  These people are typically from the older generation and it is their life long savings that are targeted.  In the case of businesses, losses are often in the tens of thousands and can even approach several hundred thousand!  Cybercrime is no longer petty crime, but BIG business and on a worldwide scale we are talking about several trillion dollars in revenue a year to the perpetrators.

For us the year 2020 is going to be about a concerted push to keep our customers safe and secure when needing to use the Internet as the consumer & business tool it was designed to be.  We have just added 3 new members to the Kerr Solutions team to ramp up this fight.  Ian joined us 8 weeks ago from Melbourne where he worked for an IT consulting company charged with keeping financial institutions safe.  Daniel joined us 2 weeks ago with methodical habits and an eye for detail.

Jon will also join us in January fresh from 16 years with the Dept of Defence where he spent the last 5 as a cyber defence analyst.  2020 will be the year that we dedicate to keeping your money in your bank. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.

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Happy New Year to you all!