Editorial: Data security demands cooperation | TribLIVE.com

Editorial: Data security demands cooperation


There is no lock that can’t be picked. There are just locks that haven’t been picked yet.

That is the short definition of cybersecurity.

Credit card giant Capital One became the latest victim in the hacking wars last week when the company announced 104 million customers and applicants had their personal information violated.

If you don’t have a Capital One card in your wallet, don’t feel too relieved. It’s more likely than not that your data has had someone’s grubby digital fingers sifting through it.

Banks have been hacked. Social media and email providers. Retailers. Apps. Hotels. Universities. Hospitals. Even if you have never used anything else, you’ve filed your taxes and guess what — yup, the IRS has been cracked.

You name it, and someone walked through the firewall like they were wearing asbestos.

Which means people have to be smart about what information they put out, and how they respond to requests for information. If someone calls you from a credit card company and asks for a payment, don’t respond on the phone or click on an email. Go to the website yourself or call the customer service line to put yourself in the driver’s seat.

And we have to demand the same from our institutions.

Because everyone has been hacked, everyone has a responsibility to take action. It’s easy to put it all on the biggest names in the crowd, like Facebook or Yahoo. Maybe they have the most data to be breached, but you don’t have to be a big business to be targeted. School districts, municipalities and small businesses have been broken or hit by ransomware.

We should demand answers from the businesses we patronize and the organizations we utilize. What are your security protocols? How are you protecting my data?

We shouldn’t roll our eyes and huff about two-factor identification. We shouldn’t grimace and grumble about hurdles that make sure the person filling out a form isn’t a bot using stolen information. We should appreciate an effort that protects the user and the provider.

We all have a role in cybersecurity, and if we don’t take those roles seriously, that’s where things go wrong.

Any lock can be picked. The best solution is another lock behind it. And another and another and another.

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