Thoughts on IET Talk - 'Rihanna Changed my Life'


This IET talk was made of up of two parts. The first talk was "The Human Factor of Cybercrime: Decoding the Cybercriminal Mind-Set" by Dr Maria Bada. The second talk was "Rihanna Changed my Life:Inspiring a New Generation of Cyber Security Professionals" by Raj Samani.
2019 will see cybersecurity alliances of defenders continuing to mature.
 “In 2018, we witnessed even greater collaboration among cybercriminals through underground alliances,” said Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee. “This collaborative mentality has allowed for efficiencies in underground technologies and tactics, and the evolution of bad actors into some of the most organised and agile adversaries in the world. However, while we expect the underground market collaboration to continue, the year 2019 will also see cybersecurity alliances of defenders continuing to mature and further fortify defences.”
There are people who are being arrested and there are people who are being indicted. There is the disruption and takedown of criminal infrastructure. It is happening today. So it is positive, but it’s like swimming upstream. Every single person across the planet today has the ability to become a cybercriminal with access to a browser and about 10 minutes of reading — if that. They’re recruiting what we would call ransomware affiliates. It’s accessible and available for anybody to become a criminal. You wouldn’t anticipate people to walk out and try to rob a bank, but [when] a couple of mouse clicks gives you maybe $5,000-$10,000 a month, it’s different. The psychological barriers to become a cybercriminal compared to a physical criminal I think are way, way lower. We’re dealing with this world in which nation-states are moving away from traditional warfare to electronic warfare because it’s cheaper. You’ve got non-repudiation, you don’t have to leave your borders, all of these things. So that’s the challenge that we’re facing. We’ve literally just opened these floodgates and there’s so much of it. It is exhausting and relentless, but we do have wins.

Thoughts and Review

  • These talks both give good background information on key threats and knowledge about malicious actors.
  • Gives a good overview of the problems facing the cybersecurity industry when recruiting new talent and explaining the job and roles of cybersecurity professionals. 
  • Shows the work of preventing ransomware attacks and the fightback against the cybercrime industry. 
  • The importance of the need to change the narrative when it comes to the cybersecurity industry in order to encourage young people into it. The NCSC CyberFirst initiative is a key program to support and promote.
  • Highlights that cybersecurity is still misunderstood. This does means that the people most interested in these types of talks are already aware of these problems. So increasing awareness still remains problematic. 
  • Highlights the counter/anti ransomware tools at I was vaguely aware of this and quite a few cybersecurity professionals will know about it already. It is a probably a good idea it bookmarked. 
  • Highlights the problems of IoT security with the costs of devices so low incorporating security is pushed aside. 
  • The Q&A at the end of the talk is also worth listening to as well. They give a wider view of the problems facing companies and individuals. Also, they suggest and talk about the possible suggestions for solutions to these problems. 


This is worthwhile to talk to listen/watch too. It gives a good overview of the problems facing cybersecurity specialists, as well as giving the background information behind these problems. Also, they talk about the possible solutions to fix the gaps and problems within cybersecurity.



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