Bulletproof

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The cyber threats caused by non-existent people

Computers are making humans now. Sort of. In a recent discussion at Bulletproof, someone casually mentioned ‘thispersondoesnotexist.com’. It’s a fairly harmless experiment in which AI randomly generates an image of a person who does not exist, thus solving the mystery of the name. This has since prevented me from sleeping at night, not least because I have turned up on it more than once.

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The Hacker’s Economy

80% of all human endeavour is committed to making money, with the remaining 20% spent finding interesting ways to spend it. These are figures that I’ve just made up, but I said it in the Bulletproof office, and everyone nodded, which either means it speaks a certain truth or, once again, everyone is doing their best to ignore me. With this in mind, it’s fair to say people tend not to put a lot of effort into something unless they know they’re going to be financially rewarded for it.

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A cyber security health check for the most vulnerable

Having covered the start-up vs corporate question before, we thought we would look into which industry is currently most at risk of cyber attack. According to the Wikipedia entry ‘list of data breaches’, which contains a list of data breaches (spoilers), out of 255 data breaches over the last 15 years, historically, the hardest hit industry was ‘web’.

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The shortage of women in cyber security

In an age pushing for diversity, is it fair to say cyber security is still an industry dominated by men? A quick Google search seems to suggest so. Admittedly, “cyber security industry male dominated” is a somewhat loaded search, but the point still stands. By simply peering over my monitor and surveying the Bulletproof office, I am greeted by the many grizzled faces of men staring fixedly at their screens hard at work, or at least pretending to be.

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What is PCI DSS and why do I need it?

PCI DSS is an incredibly important compliance standard for those processing card payments. It stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Whilst that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it is a very resilient set of standard requirements that aims to make a business more secure. A 2018 payment security report revealed that no company affected by a data breach was completely compliant with PCI DSS.

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Vulnerability scans vs Penetration tests

You’ll often find that ‘vulnerability scan’ and ‘penetration test’ are wrongly used interchangeably, creating confusion about which is the right security choice for businesses. Broadly speaking, a vulnerability scan could be thought of as a surface-level security assessment, whereas a penetration test delves that much deeper. In fact, penetration testers often make use of a vulnerability scan as part of their process.

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Cyber super-weapons – what does it take to feel cyber safe?

Even if you don’t work in the cyber-security world, you won’t have failed to notice that businesses of all sizes appear to be getting hacked on a scarily regular basis. These news reports may even help you decide whether to stay with a company or not. For example, if your gas provider experienced a security breach and lost your personal information, would you stick with them, or would you move to a seemingly more secure provider?

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Bots: how worried should we be?

Prove you are a human. If you think about that sentence for too long, you realise it’s actually incredibly complex and can bring about a sense of existential angst. Yet, it’s something that is demanded of us on a near daily basis, sometimes more. It turns out, proving our humanity doesn’t require showing the capacity to love, or even passing Blade Runner’s Voight-Kampff test. Rather, we just need to be able to click on pictures of cars or shop fronts.