Emerald Technology May 5, 2022 10:12:24 AM 7 min read

Cyber Crime with Michael Convery

Learn how cyber crime has evolved and shaped our environment today with our cyber security expert- Michael Convery. 


ET: What is Cyber Security in a nutshell? 


MC: Cyber Security is here, there and everywhere. It is a forever evolving industry that is constantly changing to essentially keep up with everything we do that needs to be secured in some way, but it’s core function is to protect the devices we use on a daily basis, the data we store and the services we access from any theft or damages.


ET: Why is it important?


MC: Cyber Security is a fundamental part of modern life – we cannot function without the digital technology we use on a daily basis and this technology needs to be protected.


ET: In your experience of working in the industry for as long as you have, has it always been like this? Now that were coming into a more technology indulged era?


MC: It has always been in everyday life, it’s always present in our lives, on the news, on social media. When I first started, it probably wasn’t as much, it was very much more infrastructure related back then, but now there are so many different aspects to it that are so relevant to today's life. 


For example, when I first started in the industry, I don't think there were many global news stories about hacking, phishing or cyber crime in general, but now it's such a contrast. There are regular media broadcasts about security breaches- which can really damage an organisation's reputation.


ET: I suppose, if it not publicly broadcasted or spoken about, people will remain in the dark and be more vulnerable to attacks and be them people that do click on suspicious links.


MC: Yes absolutely, the awareness needs to be there!


ET: What’s your thoughts on Covid's impact?


MC: Well, yes of course, Covid has added to it even more. Obviously the rise in working from home is such a big transition, especially for organisations whose whole business is supported via the cloud - they are at high risk of cyber security threats, especially insider threats from remote working. So, definitely Covid has enhanced the cybersecurity industry.


ET: What makes you so passionate about the Security industry?


MC: Almost unlimited growth potential, every single week I learn of new technologies or new Venture capitalists investing in new start-ups. The fact we use technology 1000’s times a day and Cyber is at the forefront of that excites me.


ET: What is Spam?


MC: Spam is unsolicited and unwanted junk email that is sent out in bulk to a user's computer through the internet. Typically, most spam messages are sent for commercial advertising and phishing, which is an economically very cost-effective medium for the spammer.


ET: Have you ever personally clicked on spam?


MC: I haven’t actually, I am well versed in what to look out! Have you?


ET: I actually got one yesterday pretending to be the NHS- it was so convincing too! You definitely have to on the ball, and everyone has to know what to look out for to make sure they don’t fall victim to it.


ET: Where do you think the Cyber Security industry will be in the next 5-10 years time? 


MC: This is a great question and one that I could go off on a tangent about but honestly who knows – I suspect AI, Blockchain, Autonomous vehicles, etc will all be evolving and guess what, they will need to be secured.


ET: Out of all of them, what do you predict to be the biggest?


MC: It’s hard to say, if you were to ask me the same questions 5 years ago, I would have never said Cloud- which is the biggest area in cyber security at the moment, it wasn’t prevalent then. It’s impossible to predict, like what are people like Elon Musk going to come up with tomorrow? We just have to be adaptable.


ET: What are the main risks to Enterprise’s in terms of Cyber Security?


MC: Insider Threat (employees), external threats, ransoms, SPAM, lack of awareness, phishing, storing data, and so much more – your modern day CISO has a lot on their plate!


ET: Can you explain what some of these are?


MC: Yes absolutely, so insider threats for example, in an enterprise business, is one of their employees. Ie. Their admin or finance people that use the companies data they have from company resources, and steal that data and use it to conduct fraud, ransom or something to benefit themselves in some way and essentially exploit their company.


Another one, Ransom, which seems very ‘Hollywood movie’, but has the same premise. Ransoms are very common to companies which usually results in them forfeiting the money or bitcoin to stay out of the public media, which could heavily damage their brand.


ET: When we usually think of common types of cyber crime, we think of financial loss, but it goes beyond that doesn’t it?


MC: This list has evolved of the last 7 years and I am sure will continue to evolve but some examples include; Ransomware, Malware, Phishing, DDoS Attacks, Password Attacks, AI Attacks, Inside Threats, 


ET: Just to finish, tell us something interesting about cyber security?


MC: According to a recent Study by IBM – Human Error is the main cause of all 95% of all Cyber Breaches