By Bruce Schneier
This is a book recommendation by Ray Bernard, who says, “This may be the most important book you read in 2019.”
Wendy Grossman, in her ZDNet review of this book, says, “In the Internet of Things era, cyberattacks can cause actual death and destruction. Bruce Schneier surveys this security nightmare, and looks for solutions.”
Cyber Attack Realities
This book is important for everyone to read, as it thoroughly discusses the topic that these days affects every individual, the security of our personal smart devices as well as business and government systems against cyber attacks. Although personal computers have been around since the 1980’s, it is only in the two years or so that we are seeing multiple prime time TV advertisements for products to protect personal computers against malware infections.
In the past year two years we’ve seen news media coverage about hospitals paying from $47,000, $55,000 and up in ransomware fees to regain access to their critical patient and operations data.
In April of 2017, The Buffalo News reported that Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in New York refused to pay a $30,000 ransom demand to the perpetrators of a massive cyberattack on their systems, fearing that even if the attackers provided a key to unlock the computers, there was no guarantee it would work and no guarantee the computer systems would truly be wiped clean of malicious software. Instead ECMC spent nearly $10 million to recover from the impacts of the attacks on their systems. About half of that amount was for computer hardware, software and assistance needed in the response. The other half was a combination of increased expenses, such as for staff overtime pay, and lower revenues from the loss of business during the system down time. What they learned in the recovery efforts and helped the improvements they made put them in a significantly stronger position against possible future attacks.
I mention the healthcare examples to remind you that the problem could impact you personally in more ways than we usually think about, and also because there is almost always something you can do to eliminate the personal impacts such risks on you &ndash especially with all of today’s technology advances and the services they enable.
Do you think that there is nothing you can to to protect yourself personally against the healthcare ransomware risk of having your personal medical records hijacked? Think again. Do have your have copies of all the medical information that your healthcare providers have on you?
PicnicHealth can collect and safeguard that medical information for you, keep it updated, and provide you and the medical practitioners you approve 24-hour access to it. You can securely view X-rays, CT Scans, MRIs, and PET scans right in your browser with an FDA-approved DICOM image viewer. (DICOM is short for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, the name of a standard for the communication and management of medical imaging information and related data.)
With PicnicHealth your data is kept up to date, plus you and your medical practitioners, including home caregivers and telemedicine providers, have much greater access to it than you have ever had before – and you control that instant access. This is just one kind of decision you need to make that relates to your important information, and how to mitigate related cyber risks.
Schneier’s book is not just for computer geeks or security specialists. Every adult should have this book.
Understanding the Decisions We Face
Those of us in the security industry or security profession (they are not the same) have both a personal safety perspective and a business one. Fortunately, Bruce Schneier is supremely able to put all the cybersecurity issues – both large and small – in plain language that you don’t have to be a techie to understand.
I’ve shared below the 14-minute video below that appears in Wendy Grossman’s review of this book. If you are so inclined, spend 14 minutes now to hear Bruce discuss some highlights of what the book is about, in this excellent video interview by ZDNet’s Tanya Hall.
Read and Gift This Book
I was only half-way through this book over the holidays, when I realized I needed to make this book both a Christmas present and the first thing that I wrote about in the new year.
This book is for you if:
- You are on Facebook, LinkedIn, use Gmail or any other online service
- You vote on legislative matters in state and federal elections
- People ask your opinion about information or internet security
- You or your friends have a smart TV or other smart home device
- You have children or parents
- You advise anyone on any aspect of business or home security
I’m pretty sure that list includes you.
Go to you favorite bookseller, maybe Amazon, and get this book now, which is available in Kindle format.
You’ll only be part way through this book, and you’ll be more than glad you are reading it.
These issues may be something you need to vote on – and you will have the right mindset to evaluate such issues after reading this book.
Who knows, before long you may even find yourself writing to some state or federal members of the Senate or House of Representatives because in our country’s history, when life safety is involved, government regulation has usually been required to establish appropriate public safety.