In the last blog of the year you are allowed to look back, right? And if there was one thing that has dominated the news this year, it was cybersecurity and the need for it. Finally, I would say. Because it was really necessary.

It was the year of the big cyberattacks on companies like Equifax, Verizon and Uber (technically not 2017, but they disclosed it only a couple of months ago) and there were the worldwide ransomware attacks with Petya and WannaCry. Our ‘own’ companies weren’t spared either: remember the hack at Q-Park, Port of Rotterdam and most recently the attack on FoxIT?

Simple Flaws

What was even more shocking, were the security flaws that came to light this year. Simple flaws, like easy access to records, which left the personal records of 198 million U.S. voters for grabs. The same happened in the Netherlands, where the records of more than 100.000 lease car owners could easily be accessed by changing the URL. Another big one for me, was with the latest update of Apple’s IOS X High Sierra, where you could simply get root access without a password.

2017 was also the year of ‘fake news’ and meddling via social media. There are numerous investigations into whether Russia interfered with the U.S. elections and also whether ‘fake news’ and targeted ads on Facebook and Twitter influenced the Brexit vote and different European elections.

Paranoid

In January I wrote a blog about the fact that we, in 2017, should be a lot more paranoid about cybercrime and fake news. Well, we certainly became more paranoid. I am glad we did. Finally we pay attention to cybercrime and we are realising that it isn’t a question any more IF we fall victim to an attack, but rather WHEN.

It would be a great if we wouldn’t hear any news stories about cyberattacks in 2018, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. So, let’s stay a bit paranoid, but even more: let’s stay vigilant about cybersecurity. Make it a priority in your company and in your daily routine. Make sure your systems are up to date, don’t ignore warnings from watchdogs and most of all: be very careful with social media.

Only then we can make the Internet a safer space in 2018 and the years to come.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!