We Are Back!!
Understatement of the year:
COVID-19 presented significant challenges for everyone!!
But, as with any crisis there were winners and losers. Some were able to capitalize on the pandemic and walk away with gains instead of losses.
Winner: The Internet. We turned to the internet for almost everything during the pandemic: shopping, working and learning online at a scale never seen before.
Losers: Live Entertainment, Restaurants, Higher Education, Airlines . . . any profession that required in-person interaction.
Let’s be clear, internet-based technology and related professionals were big winners. Internet service providers and the companies that provide them critical support functions saw business increase. Companies that facilitated remote work profited handsomely from the pandemic. Those working in information technology and data security are in high demand.
For my profession, working remotely forced attorneys to rely on technology in ways that the old guard would not have fathomed just before the pandemic. Litigators were conducting remote depositions, mediations, hearings, arbitrations, and trials. It soon became obvious that a good internet connection, microphone, camera and IT person were a requirement for every lawyer.
Unfortunately, cyber criminals were also winners. As more people moved to virtual work, the opportunities for criminals increased. When the dust settles, we will hear that cybercrime grew exponentially. Studies will debate whether the growth was bound to happen anyway as we plunged further into the digital age, or there was a causal link between the growth and COVID-19.
As for me, I decided to take this opportunity to learn and grow. One semester away from earning a Masters of Science in Cybersecurity, I started the program at the beginning of the pandemic (2020) just as a one-off class, took a second class to kill more time, and then decided to make the commitment towards the masters. By May of this year, if all goes as planned, I should be able to add another couple of letters to the end of my name BFA, JD, M.S., CIPP, Esq. . . . BAMF!!
The cybersecurity program has opened my eyes to the often misunderstood technical side to cybersecurity and why it is so difficult to prevent data breaches. The internet, by its very nature, was designed to be open and trusting to allow for the flow of communications across the globe. The internet was not designed for security, and the bad guys know this. I have a new-found respect for cyber warriors trying to protect our digital lives - it’s no easy task.
Because of the cybersecurity course, I could not commit as much time as I wanted towards this blog, but as the course winds down, I plan to take what I’ve learned and use it for this blog. Not only am I an attorney, former Military Intelligence analyst, and a certified privacy professional, I will be a cybersecurity graduate.
So yeah, I’m a winner!
~ Florida Cyber Lawyer, Robert Stines, Esq., CIPP