The reverse side of digitalization: the expert spoke about the risks

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The reverse side of digitalization: the expert spoke about the risks

The reverse side of digitalization: the expert spoke about the risks

The process of digitalization of all spheres of life can no longer be stopped. There are pros and cons to this. Why total digitalization is dangerous, information security specialist Sergei Zolotukhin told MIR 24 TV channel.

– Why is the digital translation of workflow and economic processes dangerous?

Sergey Zolotukhin: Conversion of all processes into digital has led to the emergence of completely new risks that are not inherent in other forms of interaction. Personal data leaks, attackers invade our networks, and many other aspects that society is not ready for.

– How often does data leak occur?

Sergey Zolotukhin: Leaks occur constantly and regularly. During the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, the number of leaks is increasing. In 2020, the number of sales of access to corporate networks – logins and passwords that were in the hands of cybercriminals, which they use to commit offenses – increased by 2.6 times.

The reverse side of digitalization: the expert spoke about the risks

The reverse side of digitalization: the expert spoke about the risks

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    FOLLOWING

    – Is it possible to trace the moment of a data leak, for example, a database of income of a group of people? What is the punishment for this?

    Sergei Zolotukhin: There are problems with tracking the moment of the leak. Firstly, there are special solutions of the Data Leak Prevention class – data leakage prevention, which can fix the moment of data leakage, but the leaked data is not really that very scary. It's scary when this data falls into the hands of cybercriminals and is used by them for theft.

    It's like a gun. If a machine gun was stolen and buried somewhere in the garden under an apple tree, this is probably not very scary, but if it is stolen and sold to criminal gangs who will use this machine to carry out their attacks, it is very dangerous.

    When cyber intelligence specialists see leaked data appearing on the Internet, which is sold on forums on the dark web, we understand that this is the data that will be used for cyber attacks. And it is precisely this data that poses the greatest danger, and tracking the moment when such data appears for sale on hacker forums is very important in order to prevent potential crimes that are about to be committed.

    – Most antivirus solutions are software-based, we do not have domestic hardware, and this is the main risk. Can you comment on this somehow?

    Sergey Zolotukhin: The main problem is that anti-virus software does not protect against modern attacks. Antiviruses know how to catch something, but using antivirus does not mean at all that you are safe. The fact is that cybercriminals use tactics that allow them to bypass the antivirus in principle. Multi-pass combinations are used, attacks, when at the first stage there is a penetration into the network, and further within the network, attackers spread using completely legitimate software.

    The level of development of technologies and tools that cybercriminals have is quite high, and it is really difficult to track them for antiviruses that were born in the 20th century. We need solutions that have appeared in the 21st century – modern technological solutions.

    – In December, Muscovites will begin to issue electronic passports of a citizen of Russia. It will be a plastic card with biometric information about the owner, it will also have an electronic counterpart that can be read using a mobile application. How ready is our system for such innovations? Is there a guarantee that there will be no data leakage?

    Sergey Zolotukhin: The level of readiness can be assessed as initial. The infrastructure is very poorly prepared and, most importantly, the people who organize and manage this system. The users themselves, unfortunately, are not ready for the fact that their data will be collected, that the digital world is a special environment in which it is necessary to treat personal data a little differently. Therefore, a lot of work still needs to be done, including the introduction of new technological solutions, to ensure the security of e-passports, indeed, at a level corresponding to the modern moment of the 21st century.

    – The level and quality of communication in different regions, constituent entities of the country is different, and access to some services may be completely different. What risks can arise in this regard?

    Sergei Zolotukhin: There are no cyber risks here, but we are talking about the operability of the entire system, so that the population receives services ordered via the Internet, without interruption, on time and on time. The situation when you sent an application for the preparation of a document, and you cannot contact, receive this document – this is an unacceptable situation. It is imperative that when introducing systems of electronic passports, electronic documents, at least for the first time, a duplicating traditional system should remain, which will allow all services to be provided by the traditional method.

    – Total digitalization will lead to absolute transparency and income and purchases, contacts, relationships that can be established between people. Is there any hidden threat here to the concept of basic human freedom and to what extent are people psychologically ready for this?

    Sergei Zolotukhin: Of course, there is a threat. We talked about the different nature of the Internet space. Two different vectors. On the one hand, a person wants to preserve his privacy, his data and data about himself as hidden as possible, and rightly requires the state to fulfill the requirements related to the protection of personal data. On the other hand, each person, without hesitation, publishes a huge amount of his personal information: both photos on social networks, and data that is transmitted to travel companies, food delivery companies – and a host of other sources, including photos of passports, driver's licenses, documents, we leave phones, home addresses.

    On the one hand, the state must take care of the safety of citizens. On the other hand, citizens must understand all the risks and rules of conduct, the rules of digital hygiene when they communicate in a digital environment and use the Internet for communication. It's convenient, but you need to understand the risks.

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