Democratisation of Cyber Security

It has been proposed that the Web has become a large scale platform that is anti-human. This is because Amazon, Google and Facebook have monopolised all aspects of being online, from what we purchase to the news channels that we plug into. In collaboration with a number of government agencies they are able to spy, eavesdrop and manipulate us in ways that were unimaginable in the not so distant past.

Yet there is another side to the coin, as cost comes down rapidly for internet connectivity it is estimated that more than half the world population (about 4 billion souls) will have access to the Web and the associated advanced technologies. This is revolutionary and a very radical state of affairs. Personally, I can’t get my head around what 4 billion people could look like so I’ve chopped this into smaller digestible components that make up advanced technology and will consider the Cyber Security aspect only for the purpose of this discussion.

By November 2018 half the world will be online

Democratisation of technology is when accessibility to advanced technology that was once only affordable to large organisations or highly skilled engineers becomes rapidly becomes available to the majority of citizens en masse.

Today for instance using your smart phone and a drone, available for only a few hundred euros, allows complete amateurs to shoot the type of films that were completely unimaginable only a decade or so ago. The net impact can be democratisation of advanced technology by placing these tools into the hands of people who are trying to make this world a better place. For example, activists who aim to prevent animal cruelty can hold the industrial farming practices to account by using drones to film inhumane activities. You know its a darn good thing when these types of people threaten to shoot your equipment!

Advanced technology decomcratised

So how does this relate to Cyber Security? This is a field that can appear to be complicated and even relatively simple tools used by professionals can cost hundreds of thousands of euros. For example a leading Cyber Security tool set by Qualys that can identify vulnerabilities to in your technical environment can easily cost in the region of >150K Euros. I’ve been building an implementing such commercial tools for nearly 20 years. Simplifying the ability to use such tools and making them freely available to all goes a long way to democratisation.

There are clear draw backs, for instance what happens if the technology gets into the wrong hands and used for malicious purposes. For instance a hacker could impact a country’s health service and hospitals causing nationwide havoc and disruption. Does this need to be controlled and should there be central governance applied? If there is a lesson that can be learnt from last 30 years, as we head towards a world where half of the population will be online, is that we should always question whether a handful of corporations and government agencies should be controlling and monitoring the technologies. A useful perspective is that although the issues and problems facing Cyber Security are large and complicated they should be treated like bugs in code: the problems created in the tech created by people needs to be fixed by people, using a decentralised approach where the code base is available to all to provide ideas for input and advancement. This highlights the core spirit of how the Web came into existence through the efforts of the open source community: creating an information highway through a public and fully transparent manner.

Ceziam is a freely available and easy to use web application that detects your core Cyber Security risks. It doesn’t cost thousands of pounds, has a front end your dad should be able to understand and focuses on the key things you need to care about.

Manually identifying web application vulnerabilities is time consuming and highly specialised for the purpose of cyber security risk detection. A useful approach to take is to use an automated identify your core cyber security risks related to your application.

Future versions of Ceziam will perform web application analysis for common security issues as well as the ability to perform continuous detection. Ceziam aims to democratise Cyber Security.

Ceziam: Freely available and identifies core cyber security risks



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