When Threats Become Closer Than We Think

When Berlin wall fall, all the boundaries set in cold war became to vanish, creating wave of what we call today as globalization. Technology has been distributed to all parts in the world. Internet development nowadays plays as a key role in revolution which occurs until now. Our world is progressing and slowly becoming digitalized: […]

When Berlin wall fall, all the boundaries set in cold war became to vanish, creating wave of what we call today as globalization. Technology has been distributed to all parts in the world. Internet development nowadays plays as a key role in revolution which occurs until now. Our world is progressing and slowly becoming digitalized: all of our activities are happening in the cyber world. Next year, Japan will implement “society 5.0” policy which is so fascinating, merging physical and cyber world to create more inclusive environment for humanity. Along the way, many will follow Japan footsteps, of course with some adaption. In the end, the objective is to integrate virtual and physical in one room, so any activities will be supported by Artificial Intelligence and will see algorithm play the part.

In that case, government, corporate, NGO, and IGO will try to maximizing their effort toward digitalization. Some prominent companies, especially Tech Company has developed further and believes that technology is solution. To make technology as solution, there needs much amount of data to be gathered and utilized. More we think about it, digital society will demand our personal identity. Digital world needs data because without it, they cannot perform well. Tiny example around us is when we want to use LinkedIn or Facebook. Before we connect to the others, we must sign in first. If we don’t have an account, needs to make one. To make one, requires giving some personal biography in order to connect. Of course, maybe some of you will think it as a ‘must’, but in some way, we’ve been forced to give our precious and valuable personal identity.

In today’s life, freeware has scatter through the edge of the world. We can download them like taking water and it’s free: document, report, video, songs, movie, program, application, games. In fact, we can share it to everyone around the world without considering state’s boundaries: by mailing list, telegram, whatsapp, instagram, Facebook. Everyone gain same resource. Knowledge has become some sort of weapon that we have. We live in a flat world where people can share anything with anyone across boundaries, regions; even we forget that we live in different places.

We got huge benefit by harnessing technology and internet potential. But, if we believe that there are not some dangers in technology and internet era, it’s some kind of naivetés. Even in many civilizations, when ones develop into more advance society, there is always darkness lurking into shadow. It is like two side of the same coin: if good side arising, bad side always follows.

What I mean bad side is the emergence of threat. Talking about security and threat, in the past, state is provider of security but at the same time they are threat. It is concentrate on one actor only which is state. In short, when USSR collapsed, some threat emerges but it’s not nation-state anymore because there is no state capable at waging war with USA. It is new threat and until now, threatens our existence.

In international order, there are two emerging threat which threatening human, directly and indirectly: cyber and environment. On this occasion, we will talk about cyber threat. Globalization makes technology and internet spread across the world. It is enhance individual capacity to access knowledge, connects to everyone, online shopping, etc. Unfortunately, it is also spread threat capacity. Threat capacity has been decentralize; it means that in cyber threat, everyone can be a threat or threatened. Technology and internet access bring up new profession and nowadays become so important: profession with computer, network and programming skill. In order to adapt and getting the job, one needs to have exceptional computer, network and programming (CNP) skill. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Alibaba, Tesla have huge number of talent with these three skill. Also, globalization makes anyone have access to knowledge equally.

Capability in cyber has been develop in country like China and Russia. If we talks about state’s military might, US are considered to be strongest capability: Naval, land, air force and also cyber. China and Russia cannot contend US in naval, land, and air force. But, they can compete and catch up in one sector: cyber. Globalized world bring up so many talents with exceptional CNP skill, China and Russia human resources are no exception. They can enhance and train them then use their ability to gain national and strategic interest.

Countries, NGOs, IGOs and even terrorists have people who have the capability to spread threats in cyberspace, even though the difference is which side they take. If individuals are on the side of the state, IGO and NGOs, they will use it to maintain the assets they own, creating security architecture to defend them from attackers. However, if they are on the side of terrorists or other evil actors or somehow have a grudge with government or have hidden motives, the individual will use his ability to hack the assets of the state, companies, and organizations. This is considered a threat.

Huge number of talent can be capitalized and acquire by diverse actor: state, non-governmental organization, IGO, or they are not affiliate with any of these actor. CNP skill can be used in many forms, for example as a web developer, IT-man, computer engineering. With more digitalized world, they need those people. One of the greatest skills that CNP people have is the ability in writing or makes program, application and network firewall: they are master of it. With some training, every country and individual can produce people with CNP genius and make them contribute to the country. But, they can also use their exceptional skill to do something that is unregulated in law. The name is hacker.

Why do we see from the individual side? Individuals have the freedom to choose how this CNP capability is used: for work, develop programs or viruses and create firewall. It is also depend on what they think about the world. They can also create some hacker group and spread threats to internet. What makes threat is closer than we think is because we are consumer of the internet: download, watch video, upload, scroll instagram timeline, writing, shopping, etc. Cyber world is full of vulnerability and furthermore they are the most anarchic world. Hackers can create, embed virus in one program, spread it and your computer will be affected before you know it. Even they can steal our personal data. One word that making cyber threat dangers is that they aim for gaining DATA. Data is most important word in digital world. In the seminar, teaching, work; urge the important of data because we need it. In individual perspective, security of the data is significant because if they had stolen or hacked, there is fear that people whom stole our data will use it for something they don’t want to. In the past two years, there are many occurrences which involve data breaches by hackers.

In 2015, Symantec reported that there are 564 million identities exposed and nine breaches with more than 10 million identities exposed. Total breaches happen in 2015 are 1.211. 1 in 220 emails has contained fake invoice or document. Sector that has high level of breaches is service sector with 260 million identities exposed by 200 breaches. Names, address, birthrate and id number are four of 10 highest type of information exposed. In 2016, total breaches have decreased into 1.209, but more data exposed. 1, 1 billion data exposed, rose almost two times from last year.

Cisco cyber security report 2018 has found that in 2017, 53% of cyber-attack has caused loss more than $500.000 dollar. In a report issued by Verizon regarding data breaches in 2017 found that out of 42,068 incidents in various sector, public administration is the highest with 21,239 incidents. The following data that has been compromised consist of: 41% Personal, 41% Secrets, 14% Credentials, and 9% Medical.

Throughout 2018, there are several in cyber-attacks which affect and targeted corporate. Coincheck, digital currency exchange based in Japan has loss $534 million dollar. Facebook suffered breach privacy which caused 30 million facebook user personal ID and phone numbers are exposed. Marriot hotel has been attack by hackers and stole 500 million of customer personal information.

These threat caused by attackers has created insecurity about safety of our data. They use their CNP skill to attacks and stole money and personal information and it happens every day. We are in constant fear that our data will be loss and stolen. The highest responsibility and also burden lies in corporate and sector which stored huge amount of data. They have responsible to guard and enhance their security architecture to ensure that none of attackers so they can maintain customers trust and loyalty. But, it is difficult because unlike state’s capability, each of individual have same access to knowledge, technology and internet. Furthermore, it is difficult to trace who is the suspect.

The conclusion, digital era created more insecurity and in constant fear wondering if our data is secure or not. Even Facebook and Coincheck which i believe have genius IT expert can be breached by ‘attackers’. Even so, we cannot burden the security of our data to certain parties. We have the responsibility to secure our own data from the threat of data breach. What we need to do is something as simple as changing passwords periodically. Although this solution will not be able to eliminate the threat of cyber-attacks, at least we can minimize the potential for data breaches that will occur later.

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