In 2020, my email was hacked in the strangest of ways. Yes, it was preventable, but I was lucky. I did not lose any money. I only lost time and my patience with Microsoft who made me feel like a criminal during the 36-plus hours of getting my email restored. Many victims are not so lucky as cybercrime will cost the U.S. more than $5 trillion over the next five years according to Accenture.
Who is Scott Augenbaum?
After I was hacked, I started looking for cybersecurity experts online and on Amazon. Paydirt – I found my guy. Meet Scott Augenbaum who is retired from the FBI and an expert in cybercrime prevention. He’s also the author of The Secret to Cybersecurity: A Simple Plan to Protect Your Family and Business from Cybercrime (2019).
I read the book in less than a couple of hours. Afterward, I found him on LinkedIn and asked for an interview. Scott is full of energy and passion on this topic, and he nailed it during our conversation.
- Scott can probably find your name on the dark web. Have an accounting practice? He probably knows the names of your clients (possibly).
- Scott’s first work in the FBI was as a file clerk after graduating from a community college.
- After becoming an agent, he was one of the first in his office to get a home PC, a Gateway. That purchase shaped his career.
- After September 2001, the FBI priorities in order were terrorism, counterintelligence, and cybercrime.
- The relevance of Scott’s move to Nashville in 2007.
- The money we spend on keeping us safe is keeping pace with the growth in cybercrime. But we’re not any safer.
- Cybercrime is costing the world trillions.
- Scott’s book is for everyone as it has a universal message for business owners, bog-company CEOs, parents, and those caring for the elderly.
- The Four Truths – the first is that no one expects to be a victim.
- How does phishing work?
- Scott’s clever use of passwords and password phrases.
- Scott shares his opinion on tools like 1Password.
- Two Factor Authentication – it’s a must.
- The effectiveness of anti-security products.
Scott’s Favorite Books
Scott mentioned several books that have meant a lot him. The first book Scott mentioned was Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins.
Another favorite of Scott’s is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The last book that Scott mentioned was Bob Burg’s, The Go-Giver.
The Secret to Cybersecurity
Don’t forget to check out Scott’s book. Not only is this a book for everyone at the office, give this to friends and family members as the message is universal.
I appreciated the fourth truths of cybercrime in chapter 2:
- no one expects to be a victim
- if you lose money, you probably won’t get it back
- the bad guys generally don’t get arrested
- but the majority of cybercrime can be presented
Law enforcement and insurance does not make cybercrime go away. Nothing can do that. But, preventive acts can significantly reduce the impact of cybercrime.
In addition to reading Scott’s excellent book, I also suggest reading Accenture’s 2019 report, The Cost of Cybercrime which is where the $5 trillion amount came from (mentioned earlier).
Do a Google search on the cost of cybercrime, and you’ll find a range of numbers. The exact number is not the point. The point is that this threat is real, it’s costly, and it’s growing.
Here are a few other reports to review: