With the growing popularity of information technology, the risk of a hacker attack targeting all types of devices around the world is also increasing. Intellope CEO, Vasil Dzadik, introduced us to the topic of cybersecurity in an interview.
Hacking is something Intellope helps fight for you. Paradoxically, it‘s because of hackers that our CEO, Vasil Dzadik, got into the IT sector. While studying at school, he helped the teacher write the correct IP address, for which they accused him of hacking, instead of praising him. Vasil was even threatened with expulsion from school. But there were no crashes in the system. Our CEO only remembered the combination of numbers. All the allegations, and the ban on working with computers until the end of the school year, inspired him to visit the library, where he began to uncover the concepts of hacking, viruses and programming.
Vasil has been working in the field of cybersecurity for many years. He is therefore aware of its importance in everyday life, which he points out to us in the following short interview.
1. When it comes to “cyberprotection”, many people may think that this only applies to large institutions and organisations. For whom is it important and crucial to deal with?
It is important that we ordinary people also protect ourselves. Today, we can even control any device by voice. Just say a word, and the coffee machine will make us coffee, or we can turn on the lights in a room. We also have smart TVs through which hackers can listen to us—or even watch us, if we have cameras connected to them. It’s not just about computer security, then. It is necessary to talk about complete digital security.
Of course, security is also crucial for companies, as part of the competition, know-how or other documents are usually stolen or altered.
Even individual states are trying to break into the systems of other states. They want to either harm them, or get as much political or military data as possible.
2. What motivates hackers to disrupt, or to overcome, the imaginary security gateway of users?
In most cases, hackers, or as I call them— cyberlotters —are interested in getting power and money. Simply said, a cyberlotter only needs your credit card number, then they can make various transactions on the illegal market or the dark net, or transfer money directly to their own accounts.
Another cybercrime is also being talked about more and more intensively. It is possible that hackers will obtain, for example, location information, medical records, complete property information or people’s financial histories.
3. Is there an institution or group of experts whose protection system is considered insurmountable by hackers?
Hackers are constantly advancing and inventing new solutions, viruses and strategies. Therefore, not even the most careful company or state can be one hundred percent protected.
4. Does Intellope work with anyone else to develop their cybersecurity?
Yes, we have had video conferences with our partners several times. For example, at a conference held in May, our company was directly invited. It was attended by people from different parts of the world from America to Asia, such as Washington, Edinburgh, Livigno, Vienna and Singapore. We were able to exchange knowledge and practical experience. We discussed the current cybernetic situation relative to the coronavirus, the latest solutions, and we also considered together what the world of cybernetics can expect in the coming months and years.
5. Did you mention the coronavirus? Did this pandemic affect security in the cybernetic environment?
I must say that the number of cyber-threats increased during the pandemic. The reason is simple—many people are working and studying from home, without caring about safety. Many users rely on the fact that nothing has happened to them in the past, so they underestimate things.
It was very similar with the coronavirus. At first, everyone thought they were not affected by the virus because it was spreading in China. Suddenly, it came to Europe, and no one was ready for it.
Just as we lock our windows and doors when we leave our homes, we should care about our digital security, as well.
6. How can we ensure sufficient cyber-protection?
Security consists of two steps. The first step—we need to know what threatens us. The second step is an effective defense against it.
I simply recommend using security and backup software. It can back up your data, such as photos or documents, in the event that your computer breaks down or you get a virus that encrypts the data or damages your disks, which is a common occurrence today.
Good antivirus software is also important. The antivirus can protect you by obtaining information about what is happening on your device and what kind of cyber-attack is threatening you. Today’s anti-virus programs, which also operate on the basis of artificial intelligence, can also protect bank transfers that we enter via computer or telephone. The protection also includes blocking the webcam or home network/wifi router.
However, a good software protection or antivirus program is not enough. Prevention and education are very important—not only for ourselves, but also for our employees. According to statistics, employees are the biggest threat to companies, as are civil servants to the state.
The last piece of advice is that people should not use simple passwords. The cyberlotter only needs to crack your password from an email or Facebook account. We may not even realise it, but these accounts may be linked to other, much more important accounts, where we may have our finances, for example. Another example might be the password to online store accounts. The cyberlotter can reset it, the new one will come to your email, and he can shop with your money for goods that get shipped to a different address.