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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Carlton

Understanding the Basics of Cybersecurity: Protecting What Matters

Updated: Feb 5

Someone, somewhere, will hack into your systems, steal customer data, and disrupt your organisation. Every 14 seconds, a business or government organisation is attacked - nearly 4,000 new cyber-attacks happen daily. Major data breaches at large companies show no one is immune to cyber attacks. The frequency of attacks is increasing – you know this!

It might sound a bit daunting, but knowing what you're up against is the first step to enhancing your security. This is where our new book comes in: "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" by Darryl Carlton and Adis Fazlic, resonates with the shock and anger of a senior executive walking into their office and discovering that they have been subject to a cybersecurity incident. Their first reaction is surprise and anger “How the f*ck did this happen?” quickly followed by the allocation of blame “Isn’t this what we pay your people to prevent?”.

This book will help you to understand cyber security. More importantly, it will help you ask the right questions and comprehend the answers you are being given. This book will help you sort fact from fiction and have informed conversations with the technical teams charged with protecting your corporate assets.

Make no mistake, the actions that your organization takes to protect itself against cyber attacks are not confined to complex technological wizardry. A very large part of active defence strategies, and informed response is business, strategy and legal. Corporate regulators the world over have announced and made very clear that they intend to hold Board Directors accountable for the consequences of cyber breaches.

The Essence of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is about safeguarding digital assets and information from unauthorized access, damage, or theft. It encompasses a wide range of practices, technologies, and processes designed to protect data and systems confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Let's break down these fundamental concepts:


The paramount principle of cybersecurity is ensuring confidentiality. The data held in your organisations systems does not always “belong to you” – very often its private data identifying customers and their personal information that helps your organization serve the needs of that customer. All this information, about customers and your own trade and commercial secrets need to be guarded with a clear, defined purpose. In the realm of cybersecurity, the foremost objective is to shield data from unauthorized access, disclosure, or malicious use. Executives and professionals often exclaim, "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" underscoring the urgency to grasp the critical nature of safeguarding sensitive customer data and other essential databases.


Data integrity ensures that information remains accurate and unaltered throughout its lifecycle. Cybersecurity measures are in place to detect and prevent unauthorized alterations or modifications to data. Executives need to appreciate the significance of data integrity in maintaining trust with customers and stakeholders.


Availability pertains to the accessibility and usability of systems and data when needed. Cyberattacks, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, can disrupt the availability of critical systems. In "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" executives are encouraged to grasp the impact of system unavailability on business operations and customer satisfaction.

The Evolving Challenges in Cybersecurity

While these fundamental concepts form the cornerstone of cybersecurity, the field is constantly evolving to address new challenges. "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" emphasizes the importance of executives staying informed about these challenges:

Sophisticated Threats: The world updates itself every day and, along with it, evolves the knowledge of cyberhackers. It is very important for organisations to stay on top of the game and update themselves with such evolutions.

Regulatory Changes: The book highlights the impact of regulatory changes, such as the GDPR and CLOUD Act, which have significant implications for data protection and privacy.

Rapid Technological Advancements: Executives are urged to understand the potential risks associated with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, and cloud computing.

Human Factor: "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" stresses the human element in cybersecurity, emphasizing the need for a security-aware organisational culture.

The need to acknowledge cyber security and understand the concept of confidentiality and the risks that are now lurking around every corner is now more than ever. "HOW THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN?" spreads knowledge about this concept and helps people know how to maintain their privacy in this digital age. This book helps executives play their part in protecting their data bases and continue growing with the knowledge of the digital world.

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