Guernsey Press

‘The more vulnerable you are the more likely of cyber attack’

KEEPING things simple was one of the key takeaways from JT’s cyber security event, ‘Let’s Talk Security’, held at St James.

Ben Owen speaking at the security conference at St James organised by JT. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32048884)

The keynote speaker was Ben Owen, a former British intelligence officer and star of the TV show ‘Hunted’. Most of his career was spent in physical intelligence gathering, which five to 10 years ago was around 80% of all intel.

‘Now, you can flip that, 80% of all intel gathering is online, and they are gathering intelligence about you to trick you. The more they know about you, the easier it is to trick someone,’ he said.

Mr Owen said that if you can understand your fellow human beings and how their egos work, then you have 80% of the picture.

‘All of us think differently, we approach things differently. But this is where hackers are getting really clever. They go online and they learn about you.’

He warned that it is not only what you put online but also what those close to you put online.

‘I used to deal with domestic terrorism, but we wouldn’t go and break in the main person’s house because they’re super security aware. They know that there’s going to be surveillance, that there will be a listening device.

‘So, we just go to the lower person in the organisation and put a tracker there – they don’t expect for one minute they’ve got a listening device in their house. And this is exactly what’s happening online – criminals are targeting the people at businesses that do not expect to be targeted. They’re taking the lane of least resistance.’

He said that often cybersecurity was over complicated. Essentially, who are cyber attackers going to target?

‘They’ll go for the most vulnerable, whatever is easiest, whatever is quickest,’ he said.

‘Whether a crude or sophisticated attack, the end result is financial gain for the attackers.’