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Lessons on Cyber Security from 24/7 Techie


Mass hysteria did not occur in early September 2017 when credit bureau Equifax announced it was hacked several months earlier. For some reason there was no huge outrage over 143 million Americans getting their confidential information stolen. It's sometimes difficult to fathom how financial giants can fall victim to hackers. Isn't it the job of a financial giant to be smarter than crooks? The mainstream media has not made much of a big deal about it, even though they're looking to fill the void of declining Russiagate stories.

I introduced the character "24/7 Techie" on September 14, 2017 as a satire on how big companies can allow such a disaster to happen. He works around the clock as an outsourced temp for various corporations. He doesn't get much sleep because he needs to put in 80 hours per week to pay all his monthly bills. It's what happens to many Americans who are sucked into the system's psychotic merry-go-round of chasing money to pay others.

His job is to constantly monitor multiple networks in the search to detect and block attackers. This work has gotten extremely complicated in recent years due to how well hackers have kept up with new security technology. No matter how sophisticated the software, hackers manage to penetrate the systems he monitors. He works in a large data center where he mixes in with many other techies, none of which are required to hold certifications. 24/7 Techie isn't really that knowledgeable about new tech or old tech. He makes minimum wage, although his employer charges clients five times that amount for his labor.

Even though 24/7 Techie depends on his temp work for survival, he doesn't take his employer that seriously. They don't really set strict security policies for their clients. In other words, they're not the best managed services provider (MSP) that a business can hire to oversee its IT activity. Yes, 24/7 Techie understands why security is important, but he's seen too many incidents in which his company didn't disclose network breaches. He doesn't like telling clients they should avoid simple passwords like "password" or "admin" because he's afraid it will insult their intelligence.

One of the worst problems with 24/7 Techie is that he often forgets normal people don't speak in the language of tech biz jargon. So he often talks over customers' heads even though he himself doesn't have deep knowledge of tech. He's not a designer, programmer or engineer. He's more like a clerk who follows a limited and redundant set of steps. Prior to his on-the-job training a few years back, he was the opposite of a techie - someone who didn't even have a computer. That's the kind of person who's got your back covered in the world of cyber security.

Created by Alex Cosper