Just recently Wired Magazine ran an article that talked about the fact that no matter how good your network is there is still a good chance that you have been exposed. And for the most part that is true. If you think that you are safe because you are on a certain system or you because you are behind a great firewall then you are mistaken. Everyone who is connected to the internet is at risk. This is not to scare you into not using your computer anymore. It is just to tell you that you should always be prepared when you are surfing the internet and never feel like you are fully protected.
Most of the time, when it comes to the effectiveness of your security system it really all depends on how bad someone wants to get in. It takes a lot of time and effort to create certain types of attacks. So the person has to figure out if your site or your computer is worth attacking or not.
Here is the good news. For most people, it is not worth attacking them on a personal front. When most people are attacked it comes from general sweeping attacks. It is best to look at it as if you were a fish that was caught up in a wide spread net. If you just looked where you were going you would have been easily able to dodge this net. But instead you just swam casually until you were caught in the net. When you do not have your system protected from the basic attacks that is just what you are doing. You are swimming right into a net.
If your system has something that other people consider valuable to protect then it is a different story altogether. This means that you have something that someone will take the time and make a customize attack to get to. It is in these cases where it doesn’t matter the amount of security that you have. What matters more is how good the person or state who is coming after you is.
This is what happened with Iran and their nuclear program. They thought that they were doing everything that they could to try and protect it but someone had a different plan in mind. This person or group (and from the sophistication of the attack it seems like a state sponsored group), decided that they wanted to disrupt the process of creating nuclear material badly. So they took the time and the money to come up with such an attack that would effectively get the job done. And it worked. They were able to knock back Iran’s development for several months to years. And now there are reports that it is happening again.
If you have something to protect that is very valuable then you have to have the same mind state. You must think that it is only a matter of time before someone is able to get in. That means that you are always on guard even though you have state of the art protection. A good security system does not mean that you get to relax and let the system do all of the work. You need to be on top of it as well. The more valuable the item the more time the bad guys are going to take into getting to it.
If you are a normal person then most likely the only cyber crime you will encounter will be of the everyday variety. But if you have something important to hide then you better be extra prepared.