Cyber Security

Sep 11 2020 Block Chain Technology Explained

Sep 11 2020 Digital Resilience Assessment

Sep 3 2020 Code-of-practice for cyber security

Aug 31 2020 Dealing with cyber threats the weakest link

Aug 24 2020 CYBER THE EARLY FOCUS OF NEW SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM

Aug 24 2020 Cyber strategy needs user centric design

Phone scams impersonating governemt and businesses

Impunity to fight cyber attacks New laws

Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy _ Prime Minister of Australia

Auistralias-cyber-security-strategy-2020

Cyber ThreatDetectionServices

Australian Guide to Digital TYransformation

ASIC Cyber Alert Newsletter

ShireBiz and Sutherland Shire Business Chamber held this breakfast on 29th May 2019 to raise the awareness of Shire Businesses of how to build and grow a successful business whilst keeping your business safe on-line.  45 Shire business people attended the breakfast.
Each year in Australia there are thousands of cyber breaches costing the economy over $1 billion.
Unfortunately most of these breaches affect small to medium sized businesses.
The speakers detailed the problem and suggested ways to keep your business safe.

Speakers Panel: Leonard Yong [Chair], Joanne Ryan [Infodec], Brad Conyers [Espressonet],
Ken Miller [Grant Thornton], Sen Constable Glen Spooner [NSW Police Cybercrime Unit]

Speakers: Presentations can be found on YouTube under Sutherland Shire Business Chamber.

Glen Spooner – NSW Police Cyber Crime Unit
Kent Miller     – Grant Thornton Accounting
Brad Conyers – Espressonet IT Consultants
Jo Ryan           – Infodec Communications
Leonard Yong  Chair Q&A Session          –

Hard copy of presentations can be viewed here Grant Thornton Cyber Security;  Espressonet Cyber Crime; 
State Crime Unit – NSW Police; Infodec Communications Govt Grants

Keeping Your Business Safe from Cyber Threats

ShireBiz and Realise Business invited Shire businesses to attend this ‘not to be missed’ networking breakfast on 12th April 2018 where they found out how you can build and grow a successful business while keeping your business safe online. As one of Australia’s leading experts on cyber risk and cyber security, Richard Watson, Lead Partner APAC Cyber Security Risk Management, Ernst & Young, gave insights into opportunities in the digital economy and provide key facts that businesses need to know about protecting themselves from the risk of cyber incidents. Kylie Bryden-Smith, Office of the Small Business Commissioner (OSBC), shared the findings of the OSBC Research into Cyber Security and Small Business in NSW. As well as Panel Experts assisted your business succeed online by giving you key insights into improving your digital skills to build your business, what to do if you are the victim of a cyber-attack and how to protect yourself online, how to safeguard your IP and trade secrets, the latest research into how other NSW businesses are managing cyber-security and more.

Panel of Experts Chaired by Leonard Yong

WHEN: Thursday 12 April 2018, 7:15 am – 9 am WHERE: Southern Cross Terrace, Tradies, Gymea

Video of Presentations and Q&A available here.

Some suggested actions to reduce risk of cyber attacks were:
1 Having your computer software updated regularly
2 Each machine on your network to have anti virus software installed
3 Use Web Filtering software which checks links in emails to see if genuine
4 Have regular local and offsite backups
5 Have a password policy and change passwords at least every 3 months
6 Have staff training to avoid inadvertently clicking on links
7 Treat IT as an investment NOT a Cost
A recent article in My Business highlights the problem.

Cyber security hub proposed for Sutherland Shire

Quantum Computing – are you ready?

According to theoretical physicist, Jonathan Dowling, “if you have business and trade secrets that you would want to keep secret for ten to 50 years, then you need to start worrying [about quantum computing] now”.  The invention of  computer chips and the lasers have much to do with quantum technology.

As we progress further into quantum computing, there are few issues we need to understand about the mysterious and wonderful quantum world, focusing on nature at the atomic scale.  For a start, do we realise the following quantum phenomena:

1          it is possible for a type of liquid to flow upwards

2          an atom can be at various locations simultaneously

3          a cup of hot tea is heavier than the same cup of cold tea

4          you become older at the top of a mountain than at the bottom

5          Light is both a particle and a wave; light is actually a type of electromagnetic radiation, at wavelengths which we can see.  In other words, a wave can be regarded as a slightly blurred particle.  Also, waves, eg, light beams, could penetrate a strong block of glass

6          Photon (a type of particle) can either be transmitted or reflected

So are you convinced that the quantum world is mysterious?  But there is more.  You see, the quantum world deals with uncertainty whereas physics deals with certainty.  Eg, atoms could either be a wave or a particle depending on circumstances!  And in quantum mechanics, there is the Uncertainty Principle which says that we cannot know exactly both where a particle is and with what momentum (ie, mass x velocity) it is moving.

So a key question is: “how to build quantum computers by using technology which is so weird?  Some of the main problems in the development of quantum computers which have to be overcome include:

1          Measurement of quantum superpositions:

Occurrence in which a quantum particle is in more than one state at a time (NB. A full description of nature, at a given point in time, is called a state).  The quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others.  Whenever we try to measure quantum superpositions, they change rapidly and/or being destroyed.  As we know, a Qubit (which is a quantum bit, or binary bit) could exist in a superposition of two states, representing a “0” and a “1” at the same time!  The traditional computers use a normal bit (representing a “0” and a “1”) but do not use superpositions.  Quantum computers in using Qubits (read: superpositions) can therefore provide enormous computer processing power.  The measurement of quantum superpositions therefore is a key obstacle in the development of quantum computers.  Eg, how could we best isolate the quantum computer, with its use of complex numbers (ie, square root of -1), from its physical surroundings?

The controversy over the measurement issue has been around since the 1920s and currently many quantum experts still disagree on it.  It also revolves around the fact that in the quantum world, an atom can be at several locations at once, whereas in the normal world, there is a location for everything, eg, a table!

The other problem is: “We can’t fully control or predict the future by knowing only half the story of a particle”.  To fully enunciate a physical state, we often require a pair of information, eg, particle’s position and particle’s momentum.  However, quantum mechanics states that you can only elect to fully know one of them.  Eg, we can elect to measure the position of the quantum particle or we can elect to measure the momentum of the particle.  The main problem is that we cannot elect to concurrently measure both the position and momentum of the quantum particle!  Moreover, the Uncertainty Principle is a key building block of quantum mechanics. The great scientist, Heisenberg believed that if it were possible to measure the position and momentum concurrently with a greater accuracy, quantum mechanics would collapse.  And to this day, it is hard to find scientists who would disagree with the Uncertainty Principle.  It should be noted that quantum mechanics also explains light, radioactivity and nuclear physics.

2          Entanglement problem:

Entanglement is the phenomenon in which pairs of quantum particles can remain connected or interacted even when separated by huge distance, appearing to share the same existence.  If you’d try to measure one particle, the nature and characteristics of the other particle will change.  It is of course, very difficult to maintain particles’ entanglement.  At every opportunity to interact with other particles, it will; and the entanglement would usually disappear instantly.  The main objective is to prevent the Qubits from interacting with their environment.

Quantum particles which are entangled pairs have great potential benefits in the development of quantum computers.  Under the quantum entanglement principle, the measurement of one particle would instantly change the other particle due to entanglement; so that trying to decipher a system would automatically destroy the lock.  By using quantum entanglement we could generate random encryption keys and make the interception of keys extremely difficult.  In other words, the destruction of entanglement would be instantly detected and any data communication finished prior to the leakage of data.  Therefore, quantum entanglement could be used to create instantaneous communications system.

It should be noted that there have been recent overseas experiments in sending entangled photons (only for a short distance so far).  The entanglement feature could facilitate quantum teleportation which enables information required to “rebuild” a particle’s state to be communicated to a remote location.

Predicting probabilities

Quantum theory is a framework for predicting probabilities.  We could predict the probable final location (including the probable route) of an atom which is moving through space.  An atom has a movable location in space; it can be here or there (after a short time).  In other words, the location of a quantum particle after a short time is a function of probability.

It is probable that within the next decade, quantum computing will be upon us, whether we are ready or not.

Remember, a great scientist, Dr Richard Feynman (a Nobel Prize winner) once said: “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”.

(Disclaimer from Leonard Yong:  I don’t think I understand quantum mechanics when writing this article)                    Leonard Yong © 2020

Leonard Yong, M.Acc, FCPA, CA, MACS(Snr)                        25 February 2020
Convenor, CPA Cyber Security Forum, Chairman, Digital Economy Committee, ShireBiz\

In memory of Tony Blain

I shall dearly miss my friend, Tony Blain, who had done so many good things for the Shire people.  Tony was a keen believer of technology, eg, quantum technology, nuclear physics and cyber security technology, to make Australia in the forefront in the development of quantum computers.

Entangling Quantum Computing

As we progress further into the era of quantum computing in relation to cyber security, there will be a particular word which will be used often and that word is called: “entanglement”.  You see, quantum mechanics revolve much around the concept of “entanglement”.  Einstein called the concept as “spooky action at a distance” and was even mystified and unsure at such a phenomena initially.  How could there be 100% and instant certainty about the properties (nature) of something very nearby or even at the other end of the universe?  Indeed, quantum computing is expanding a new frontier in physics called the entanglement frontier; unlike the frontier of small distances, eg, particle physics, or unlike the frontier of huge distances, eg, cosmology. Quantum entanglement is the process in which sub-atomic particles communicate with each other. It also helps to understand quantum algorithms.

A spooky situation

Particles are entangled when they are generated concurrently and at the same location.  According to one Quantum theory, two electrons could maintain instantaneous communication, whether near each other or thousands of light years apart.  Moreover, a particle could be in more than one place at the same time!  This is really spooky!  Also, it deals with probabilities instead of certainties.  The great mystery is that if one measures the electron, the other electron knows the other is being measured regardless of great distances between them.

Indeed, quantum entanglement is a mysterious event which happens when two particles (eg, sub-atomic particles) are linked, over great distances (always acting opposite to each other), in such a way that there is a correlation among the two particles; consequently, actions performed on one particle will immediately affect the other particles entangled with it.  In a quantum cryptographic situation, if you try to take action on one particle (if they are entangled), you’d instantly change the properties (nature) of the other; so attempting to hijack into the system would just destroy the encryption key (if there is one).  Instantaneous communication of quantum entanglement will lead us to further enhancing quantum cryptography.  Remember that quantum computing is about the use of quantum states of physical systems to store and transmit data, instead of the current “classical” states”.  The data could be processed and transmitted via the quantum measurement.

The current cryptographic security relies mainly on mathematics and some might say, the limited computing power.  To date, much deciphering of cryptographic codes are mainly a function of factoring extremely large numbers into prime numbers.  However, quantum cryptography utilises photons and depends on the laws of physics rather than very large numbers and the deciphering of cryptographic codes in a quantum computing era could occur at the speed of light.

It should be noted that quantum cryptography to a great extent revolves around the “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle” propounded way back in 1927.  Werner Heisenberg maintained that “it is impossible to determine simultaneously the exact position and momentum, (ie, mass X velocity) of a particle. ie, the more exactly the position is determined, the less known the momentum, and vice versa”.

You may well ask: “What has this got to do with quantum computing?”.  Remember, the entanglement concept is one tool used in quantum computing, eg, in the use of transmitting data via entangled Qubit (which is a unit of quantum information that is stored in a quantum system).  So if the position of the sub-atomic particle (read: data) is “uncertain”, you may well ask: “Where exactly is the data then?”.  I believe this is one of the great challenges in quantum computing!  Remember, the Quantum Theory deals mainly in probability instead of certainty; it also focuses on physics rather than mathematics.  And understanding the issue of entanglement is crucial in understanding quantum computing and/or quantum cryptography.

Leonard Yong, M.Acc, FCPA, CA, MACS(Snr), Convenor, CPA Cyber Security Forum
Chairman, Digital Economy Committee, SHIREBIZ  22nd January 2019

 

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