You may recall back in late 2014 when Sony Pictures was the target of a vicious hack that exposed everything from full-length unreleased films to private emails and employee personal information. The hack ultimately forced Sony pictures to shut down both their internet servers and landlines to address the problem.
Employees had to use notepads, old-fashioned adding machines and older BlackBerry phones to keep operations going.
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, you can sometimes still see plenty of older tech still in use. Fax machines, older cash registers, and even pagers are still being used. One of the many reasons is that they can (in certain cases) actually be more secure and reliable than the newer alternatives.
Doctors are still using pagers in many hospitals because of their reliability. Pager signals are still stronger than cellular signals. In emergency situations that advantage is generally worth the use of a device that’s far less convenient than a modern smartphone.
Fax machines are ubiquitous, particularly in the medical arena. While email can do the job faster and with less effort, a fax ( if done properly) can generally be a more secure and direct link between two points without much complexity. An email is sent, scanned and copied multiple times before it reaches your inbox. And how many times have you found important emails in your junk box? Fax machines generally don’t have junk boxes. While encrypted email is more secure than a fax, that option isn’t as readily available yet.
Ironically, the more popular and available a particular technology or software is can sometimes increase the exposure to malware and security breaches.
Not too long ago, Microsoft’s Windows software was the go-to commercial operating system for desktops & laptops. It was also notorious for the huge amount of virus and malware it had to deal with. On the other hand, Apple’s Mac OS, while having a much smaller user base, was praised for the very few viruses their users had to deal with.
While Windows still has the lion’s share of the market, Mac OS has certainly become increasingly more popular in recent years. Unfortunately, this rise in popularity brought with it the threat of increased cyber attacks and the development of more Mac OS specific malware.
Hackers and other bad actors in this space are looking to follow the trends and go where the crowds are for the highest likelihood of success. The only meaningful solution here is for developers to quickly find vulnerabilities in their own software and quickly provide patches to these vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. In this case, being on the cutting edge of tech is generally an advantage. Although there’s always those instances where hackers rush to find exploits on newer tech. Generally speaking, running older software does increase the risk of cyber attacks.
The take away here is to try as best you can to be well-informed about your tech and consider what role it plays in your day-to-day life. While it’s all well and good to have the newest and fastest gizmo, it never hurts to keep one or two older pieces of good and reliable tech around. You never know when they may come in handy.