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Bill Magee
Cyberwhisper it!
Increasing numbers of hard-pressed businesses view online as so toxic they're thinking of quitting the Internet for good

"Ed the Fed" Gibson

Some beleaguered businesses have had it up to here with an increasingly toxic internet that threatens to cripple if not all but bring an enterprise down. They're seriously considering quitting the Internet for good.

Confronted endlessly by an ever-rising risk of being assaulted by a combination of commercial bullying along with malicious phishing scams.

Also witnessing an endless sowing of dissent and spreading propaganda along with copies of key products illegally sold on the market hurting commercial ambitions.

No one is immune from cyber-attack. Even Tesla's Elon Musk couldn't stop a major data leakage of salaries of his 140,000 employees.

Ex-FBI and Microsoft UK global cyber expert Edward Gibson issued a timely cybersecurity warning from across the Pond.

Well known to Scottish business conference delegates, he would adopt his "G-man" alter ego, donning dark glasses and morphing into "Ed the Fed".

Then he would urge extreme caution always in cybersecurity activities asking pointed and often unsettling questions of his audience.

Ed was federal bureau chief in charge of UK investigations out of Grosvenor Square. He was then headhunted by Microsoft for the post of chief cyber security adviser.

He has given more than 250 presentations ranging from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Shirahama, Japan, and Ukraine and Russia well before the current war.

Ed told me from Washington DC, where he operates as a licensed private investigator in the State of Virginia: "Cyber defenses? I could give the same presentation today that I gave twenty years ago. It's all about people."

Over the last two decades we've all been involved in unprecedented technological advances currently led by generative artificial intelligence (genAI)

Virtual gangs are nowadays often organised on a cellular basis with no real knowledge of each other. Rather than the common perception of a detached teenager in a darkened bedroom.

Ed: "Most of these people know what they're doing...and if we don't get on top of the problem they are going to take the internet to the point where people may fear to venture into it."

One energy sector executive, who asked not to be named to avoid trolling, told me on their reaction on discovering a recent phishing campaign attempted to snare nuclear waste management workers.

"You know, I wonder if such constant online aggro is worth it."

Ed, who was a financial regulatory public arbitrator and CEO of Embassy Attache Groups plus a DC special inspector general for pandemic recovery 2020-2021, emphasises how a simple mistake at work can result in costly implications.

It can all but bring about the complete shutdown of an organisation. Threats and attacks can come from any location at any time. Posing challenges with incident involving victims, suspects and crimes spanning multiple countries.

Virtual gangs are nowadays often organised on a cellular basis with no real knowledge of each other. Rather than the common perception of a detached teenage in a darkened bedroom.

Increasingly such gangs have the power and often ambition to take down an organisation.

During his five-year stint with Microsoft Ed persuaded the software giant to provide forensic training in the UK and Ireland involving law enforcement officers.

A short sharp three-day program was attended by nearly all designated constables including select officials from other European countries.

Food for thought as regards duplicating a private or private sector employee - and employer - cyber training course to help ensure survival of an organisation.

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