Written by: Chad Walter, Vice President of Business Development, GreyCastle Security

The internet is full of it. In 2016 there were a record 1,093 events (according to Bloomberg Technology’s “2016 Was a Record Year for Data Breaches” article) that resulted in it. Every day, millions of Americans are faced with it. The “It” I’m referring to is FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

In the early days of the internet, FUD had to do with our natural fear of the new. There was uncertainty around what this new technology would bring. Some of us even doubted its usefulness and commercial viability. Well, that was the early 90’s and we were just entering an unprecedented information technology explosion. Hell, Facebook’s founder wasn’t even 8 years old when the internet officially launched and it was still going to be almost six years before the first iPhone hit the market. In hindsight, our FUD was very manageable.

Fast forward to May 2017. We’re now looking for the next internet (According to word on the street, this one’s broken.). Facebook now has more than 100 million users, many of whom, openly share information they would have never told their therapist back in 1991. And, the iPhone is starting to enter the realm of aged technology (I’m still trying to figure out how to use the damn thing.)

Back to where I started. FUD is now largely attached to cybersecurity and the cybercriminals who roam our e-world. Everything is either being connected to the internet or will be in the near future. We’ve all become tethered to the most open form of communications we’ve ever seen. Yes, there’s a lot to fear. As a child of the ‘80s I feared Aqua Net and open flame, and running out of quarters just before mastering Zaxxon. Today I fear that someone’s watching me through my laptop camera, stealing my healthcare information, or some criminal in some country with a name I can’t pronounce is taking control of my life by holding everything I have online for ransom. Holy FUD!

Guess what? FUD is never going away. Like our newly connected lives, FUD is always going to be there. FUD is actually healthy. In cybersecurity, FUD is a huge part of awareness. If you listen to your inner FUD, you won’t click that suspect link unlocking personal and corporate Armageddon. Accepting your inner FUD will keep you from telling the world that your house is vacant from 10 am to 11 am as you walk Fido around the block for his daily constitution (and we don’t want to see the pictures either). Listen to your FUDtuition as it tells you not to respond to the first cousin of the step sister to the missing Prince of Chad who wants to give you a cut of their fortune if you simply supply them with your bank account number. That’s right… FUD will keep you from doing some really stupid things.

There is a lot of safety in FUD. I have the privilege of working with a team of world-class cybersecurity experts who conduct awareness training, risk assessments, penetration testing and a host of other valuable services. They teach companies and their people that FUD is not a weakness. Instead, they demonstrate that FUD can be your best defense. Recognizing FUD is the basis for developing manageable cybersecurity strategy and minimizing risk. With a smart, well-developed cybersecurity program, FUD isn’t paralyzing, it’s actually very empowering. Be one with your FUD!

May the FUD be with you!

About the Author: Chad Walter
Chad F. Walter is the Vice President, Business Development at GreyCastle Security. In this role, Chad leads a growing team of cybersecurity business development professionals and is an integral part of the GreyCastle Security strategy team.

Chad has amassed over 20 years of strategic leadership and developmental experience within cybersecurity, information technology and executive leadership. He has served as CEO of CFWalter Consulting, LLC, President of IntegraLED, Director of Channel Development for Network Box USA, Vice President of Operations for Chile-IT, and as the President and COO for D&D Consulting.

Formerly of Huntsville, Texas, Chad resides with his wife, Cindy, and their two children in Clifton Park, New York.