Since Rockfire last reported on cyber security, 26,500 National Lottery accounts have been accessed by ‘credential stuffing’.  This involves the copying and pasting of usernames and associated passwords from one system to another. Since many of us do not have the memory or willpower to create new passwords every time we provide personal information online, it is unsurprising that the villains in this particular piece managed as many as 26,500 hits. However, though the account holders in question might not agree, the geeks assure us that credential stuffing is not as clever and therefore not as worrisome as hacking.
Whether your account is accessed by a credential stuffer or a hacker, one of the main concerns is the time that can elapse before any unorthodox activity is detected: six months on average. So an area of urgent focus is the development of processes that can spot a breach more efficiently. Companies such as Palantir mine big data for hints and that is one reason why data scientists are now so sought after.
As we obsess about cyber-attacks, however, it is tempting to forget the wider world of security that existed before the Internet and remains a booming business: a densely segmented industry flourishing to keep things safe.
G4S, in the news today as it sells its operations in Israel, Control Risks, Kroll and Northbridge are but four of the better known operators in war zones, protecting civilians and high value targets and providing lucrative work for ex-military personnel into the bargain.
Other ex-soldiers, like Alisatair Cole of the Lifesigns Group, teach survival in hostile environments to journalists, charity workers and adventurous tourists. Or they might, like Vallis Commodities, offer risk mitigation services such as as collateral management or stock monitoring to trading companies or commodity financiers.
In the booming construction business that the UK will need if it is to address its housing problem, there is an ongoing requirement for access and entry monitors so any firm involved in the manufacture or monitoring of CCTV systems or biometrics should be feeling optimistic. Biometrics identifiers now go way beyond fingerprints and retinas. Palm veins, saliva and voices are all unique to their owners and can be registered to facilitate identification.
The choice is huge and so is the potential market for investment.