Written by 7:43 pm Cyber Security

Evolution Of Cyber Security: Then, Now, & Tomorrow – The First Part – Imran Rasheed

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “Cyber Security”?

Is it a computer being hacked and personal information stolen, or perhaps a website defaced by a cyber-criminal?

Regardless of how you envision cybersecurity, it’s important to understand the true meaning of the term and its impact on our established past and the evolution of cybersecurity.

Discussing Cybersecurity & Information Security

Image source: elmhurst.edu

What is cybersecurity?  What is information security? What’s the relationship between them?

While we mostly know that true online privacy is linked with modern technologies, there is a twist in cybersecurity history. The phenomenon of online protection was established long before the inventions of the simplest gadgets today.

Surprising, right? Let me tell you more about it.

The concept of cybersecurity stems from another term called Information Security. Simply said, information security safely exchanges messages between two parties, ensuring that no unauthorized individual has access to or interferes with them.

Moreover, information security rotates around the CIA triad called the Infosec Principals to fight against cyber security threats:

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Integrity
  3. Availability of Data

Transmitting Messages – A Quick Lesson In The History Of Cyber Security

In the medieval era, messages between countries were transferred via physical human effort. This means the sender had to assign a horseman to travel with a sealed letter and deliver it to the authorized receiver. No one but the true receiver was allowed to open the note.

As a result, it met the most basic principles of Infosec regulations. It was the beginning of Infosec history and would continue to evolve with time. Unfortunately, the communication still suffered from a major delay in delivery and response, also known as “Latency” in IT terminology.

Therefore, citizens devised a more efficient method of exchanging information across countries. Enter Carrier Pigeons!

Countering Cyber Security Threats Using Carrier Pigeons

Image source: alamy.com

While carrier pigeons were used throughout history, they made a significant contribution during World War I. This was because the war times were when the need for secure messaging was extremely crucial.

Using carrier pigeons met a lot of factors of Infosec principles. For example, the birds flew right over enemy lines undetected during wars, allowing complete communication privacy.

The problem was that these creatures could be intercepted, resulting in a breach of confidentiality and integrity of the message, which was one of the major cyber security examples and is completely against Infosec guidelines.

Therefore, the records were encrypted to prevent unauthorized access and/or tampering. Each cipher was near impossible to decrypt without access to the original unencrypted message.

The pigeon encryption strength was demonstrated in 2012 when a pigeon’s remains contained an encrypted message, and cryptographic experts were baffled as to how to decrypt it. Even today, the message’s actual meaning remains a mystery!

The Everchanging History Of CyberSecurity

Throughout cyber security history timeline, people have attempted to tamper with private messages, compromising Infosec standards. However, countermeasures in the cybersecurity and information security history show that privacy can be preserved with a little effort.

Essentially, the game has remained the same while only the pieces keep evolving!

In the next part, I will discuss how pre-developed civilizations invented other ancient information security methods, such as cypher, encryption, etc., eventually leading to the evolution of cyber security.

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