News
2021-8-10

Ján Grujbár for Forbes: Learn from my mistakes

In private life, one has to set and guard one's own digital behavior.

I work for Aliter Technologies, which also deals with cyber security, and I must admit that I have been angry with myself for a long time. To be precise, I found myself in the proverb: “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Most of us have our lives divided into two dimensions, one working and the other private. For me it is the same even regarding technology. In the office, my laptop and phone are perfectly secured, storage is encrypted, access to applications is multifactor-verified.

Sounds good, so you may ask, what’s the problem? The problem is that someone else set it up for me, specifically our IT specialists. In private life, one has to set and guard one’s own digital behavior. If the person doesn’t know, he often doesn’t even solve it. If the person knows, which is my case (moreover, twice underlined by my work in the IT sphere), he often postpones it. He postpones it  and hopes that nothing terrible will happen to him. You probably have the same experience.

I recently needed to make a few online banking payments while on vacation. Only after the first transaction did I realize that I was on the hotel (not very trustworthy) wifi. Definitely, without VPN or at least secure use. I turned it off right away. Although, fortunately, nothing happened, I realized that I was behaving completely differently than I advise my friends, family and our clients. I had a few days off, so I decided to take time and check it all. I checked all accesses to e-mail, social networks, various applications, smart homes, but also home wifi and changed all passwords for more complex and unique ones. The previous ones were often repeated or were still from production. In order not to forget the new ones, I downloaded an application in which I safely stored and encrypted them all. Instead of a short PIN, I use biometrics. I updated the firmware everywhere and found a suitable VPN service to access more sensitive data. I used it in my mobile phone and laptop.

I know that I should have done these basic tasks a long time ago and checked them regularly. I know. However, sometimes it’s better later than never, because we live in a time when all of us are affected by the digital threat much more than we can and want to admit.

 

JÁN GRUJBÁR – CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ALITER TECHNOLOGIES, A.S.
During his career in the financial and IT sector, he worked in positions as a project manager, head of the project department or even as the director of the entire IT division (CIO). At Aliter Technologies, he holds the position of an experienced manager with many years of experience from the corporate world and from several unique projects.

SOURCE: Forbes (only in Slovak)