Global cyber attacks increased by 32% in the second quarter of this year compared to 2021. And 1 in 40 companies worldwide was hit by ransomware, a 59% increase year-over-year (Checkpoint). As the tech age evolves, so do cyber thieves. Our team recently took an introspective look back at security (or lack thereof). It’s amazing to remember what has been compared to what is.
When I went to college, computers were new. The Bring Your Own Device movement was unique. So if someone got a new laptop, we all knew their family was probably pretty wealthy. Someone gave me an old laptop. It was a bit battered and battered and I was told if you can make it work it’s yours. I counted myself lucky, despite the patchwork I had to do to bring it back to life.
Thinking back, this laptop had no antivirus and no password reminders. Although there had been a few computer hacks, it really didn’t matter because it didn’t affect me. It wasn’t until 2016 that cybersecurity became a reality. Before that, the internet was wide open. It was like a kid in the 1980s playing in the street until after dark. No fear!
laptops. With my Jerry Rigged laptop, I roamed freely, chatting, creating documents, and searching the web—all without multiple passwords containing characters, numbers, and symbols. Passwords were simple: my birthday, my street name, my dog’s name. And we stored everything carefree on the hard drive. Data, documents and emails would all be there when we got back. But with the first laptop price tags approaching $2,000, real thieves were ready to pounce. Who got a laptop stolen? What happened then? All that data, those documents and emails are gone!
Calendar. The same goes for our calendars. My wife is probably one of the last advocates still using a paper calendar to this day. Why? She is afraid that the data will disappear. The first switch from a paper calendar to an electronic calendar was tough. Lose your device, your laptop has been stolen and then where should you be? All your calendar appointments are gone!
Playroom. Those of us who predate social media probably remember Yahoo! chat rooms. Did you know that the organization also had game rooms where you could play and bet against other people? Call it first wave gaming. When I was a student, we found out how the system works. It was all legal and legitimate, but without safeguards, our opponents never had a chance to win.
Music: It was fascinating to watch the development of music on the internet. Napster was among the first (but most famous) providers of audio streaming services. It was originally launched in 1999 as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing software service. Thinking back, it might be more accurate to say it’s a modern day music hacker. Now out of business owners challenged musicians to their ownership and distribution rights. After all, there was no precedent in terms of safety. If you missed it, the musicians won.
company data. With the advent of IT came tape backups for servers. One of my first jobs was at a bank. Every night we had (which I thought was strict) a log regarding these backups. All of the day’s server data, the customer’s bank details, were backed up on tape. We removed it and installed a new one for the next day. These backups were thrown in a bag or maybe put in someone’s briefcase or car. We thought it was safe. Who wants the data? I’m amazed when I think about it now.
These examples all happened only 10 to 15 years ago. What has changed? Increased awareness of security and privacy. We no longer trust hard drives, simple passwords and tape backups. Data like music is protected and must be purchased to call it your own. With the advent of hackers, cybersecurity professionals are getting smarter to stay ahead of the game. Now there’s the ability to store data and information in the cloud, allowing you to quickly take down a hacker or thief in an emergency. Change the password, rewind to a previous version from the cloud and keep working.
This is one reason why more and more companies are moving from a server to the cloud. According to Technavio, the market share of cloud managed services is projected to grow to $52.6 billion from 2021 to 2026, and the growth momentum of the market will accelerate with a CAGR of 10.37%.
What is amazing is that this shift has happened in just a decade. There’s a pause to let us wonder what’s next in IT and technology development.
Aaron Toops is Co-Founder and CEO of AERIFY.oi, a managed services IT company that makes technology easy, safe and fast. The team uses the cloud to provide small and medium-sized teams affordable access to their information from any device, anytime.