By now, I’m sure that you have heard of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. If not, very briefly put their system allowed cyber criminals to shut down the pipeline that starts in Texas, which according to the New York Times supplies 45% of gas to the East Coast.
Now, with that amount of responsibility to supply a critically needed item for everyday operations to millions of people, it would seem the company would have a swift response. I mean to me and I’m sure others, it would seem they would know someone in our technologically advance world would get the idea to attack them, right?
Well, no, they weren’t ready and there was no plan of action to ease the general public’s concern of not having gas. Now, you may say, okay, how does this relate to me and my life. I don’t live on the East Coast. I caution you to reconsider because like it or not as a nation this shutdown is and should be alarming to most not just in business, but in their personal lives.
Because while we live independently with different governors and regulations, we still depend on others for things we need and want. Likewise, the more you understand about supply chain and demand the more you realize what a nightmare this truly is.
Though some may not see it as such, personally, we all have our own infostructure, people, mindset, systems, and things that matter specifically to us, which is why people didn’t take long to go into panic mode. And while I understand their concern, this too is information that criminals can and will use in the next cyber-attack.
Yes, I said next because the fact is technology isn’t going anywhere and as Americans, we use it increasingly in our businesses and personal lives. Just look at our cars, houses, phones and even now our watches – so cyber-criminals are here to stay.
So, I ask you, when it comes to your personal life, to the people, your mindset, systems, and things that matter most have you protected them? Or are your personal affairs an easy target that someone who wanted to disrupt your life could take advantage of?
Honestly, when you think of how you interact with people online, what kind of breadcrumbs or traces of important details do you expose? The same goes for in person conversations, do you think about the level of exposure you give people to your mindset and insights to the way you do things, the systems you use, or to the people who mean the most to you?
You see, it’s easy to look at this disaster with the Colonial Pipeline and say what were they thinking? And wonder why they didn’t have a response to defend against this in place, but do you have a system in place for your personal life?
For example, in dating, whether you’re on online apps or going out to physical locations are you telling all your business to a stranger who you have no factual and up-to-date information about? Or are you blindly trusting and meeting up with someone, yet, no one in your inner circle knows?
Just think of how often it seems that just maybe a relationship is going great only for it to end as quickly as it started. Often, it’s the start that was the problem. Why? One party over-shared and allowed someone who really was ill-intended to have access to their personal infostructure.
Not realizing that giving that person access to that kind of information and data that supports his or her mindset and how he or she made decisions in their past or currently makes decisions presently is a weapon that the person he or she was dating would later use against him or her.
Whether to play a role to receive privileges and benefits he or she should have instead received an access denied speech or to extort him or her out of money, a place to stay, or a support system to use, it happens more than most want to admit.
And when you’re easily or repeatedly taken advantage of you must look at if you are protecting what matters most. The same goes in stores and restaurants, or maybe even at work. Are you sharing intimate, private details about your life to random people or to people who you aren’t sure have good intentions? If so, why?
Yes, it’s great to be open and personable, especially in a work environment. However, to tell your whole life story to any and everyone who will listen is to open your infostructure up to several unknown possibilities. And don’t think for one minute because you work with someone that you know that person.
You don’t – because the truth is you can be married to someone for over 20 years and still learn new things about him or her, as people evolve. And it takes building a relationship with someone to know them.
Again, it may seem harmless to tell your personal and private business to a co-worker, but do know that your co-worker could very well like a stranger use that information you shared in confidence for their own gain. Now, most of the time, it may not go anywhere, besides the conversation you had, but the issue at hand is there is a risk there.
So, you must ask yourself is the cost of exposure and potential damage worth the benefit gained? And if the answer is no, then you must ask are you failing to invest the time, energy, and resources to protect your life’s most valuables against all threats and attacks near and far?
~Just like companies have infostructures, so do you, it’s called your personal life and the people, your mindset, systems, and things that matter. The question is do you know their worth and have you invested in protecting them as you should. ~ Coach Sam