By The #CyberAvengers
Originally Published on NextGov on June 6th, 2017
We are pointing out the obvious, but the obvious needs to be pointed out these days: How you view the world impacts your decision-making. And equally as important is how you view yourself. Therefore, if you see the world as a relatively benign place and feel for the most part you are well prepared for whatever challenge you will face, it is quite likely you will do little to change your behavior.
But if you view the world as a more hostile place and think of yourself and us as unprepared, chances are you will either wither away into a corner, frightening yourself into hysterical paranoia, or you will do something rational to prepare yourself for whatever challenge comes your way.
Let us start with this basic premise: The internet is inherently vulnerable. It was designed that way because the debate—about 40 plus years ago—focused on open access and free flow of information versus security. The former won, but we are paying the price today. So, if the information highway (the internet) is all banged up and falling apart, it does not matter how safe your car is because the road is still a mess.
Taking the Car for a Spin
Let’s go for a ride and see what is waiting out there for you. First question: Is everybody driving a 2017 model with no mileage? Nope. That means your car (network and information system) has some wear on it, as do other cars on the road.
But even if you are one of the lucky ones driving a 2017 with no mileage, are you fully read up on how to use all the fancy features of your new car? Probably not. You may find some cool new safety features on this new car, like lane departure warnings (anti-virus), but the warnings do little good if you do not check your blind spot while changing lanes or if you find them to be a nuisance and shut them off (misconfigured firewalls).
New conveniences, like automatic parallel parking (free Wi-Fi) and automatic breaking (artificial intelligence) are neat and helpful. The #CyberAvengers are even ardent supporters of some, but we do not suggest forgetting the basics of driving or driving into a wall to see how well these technologies work!
OK, we see some of you out there with your head down saying, “but I don’t have a 2017 with no mileage…I have a 15-year-old with 200,000 miles on it and that’s all I can afford right now.” Don’t worry, that is nothing to be ashamed of, we get it (after all, the average age of a car on the road these days are almost 12 years old). We understand you have limited resources and you do the best you can. But even with limited resources, you cannot sacrifice necessary maintenance without letting your car turn into a death trap.