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Cybersecurity: Then and Now

Article Highlights:

  • Cyber-threats and cybersecurity have been evolving since the 70s.
  • Understand the threats to your business to better protect against them.

While the first computer went online in 1945, the first recorded cyberattack wasn’t until 1970. And the word cybersecurity wasn’t even added to the dictionary until 1989. So how did all this evolve?

The first introduction to the computer virus was coined “Creeper”. It was quickly updated and was then known as “Reaper”. It began as a harmless prank with a message popping into users’ computer screens. While there was no malicious intent from the two friends that created the code, it began to raise awareness of the possible necessity of security online.


Fast forward to the 1980’s with the birth of the internet. The Cold War created a lot of panic among the public and malware attacks were becoming frequent. The United States passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. The first conviction under this act was in 1988 when Robert Morris created the Morris worm to gauge the size of the internet. It quickly became too much to handle and slowed down every computer it touched. Morris was arrested and computer emergency response teams were created to respond to future cyber threats.

The 90’s will forever be dubbed “The Virus Era”. With the explosive growth of email, along with a lack of knowledge from users, viruses were able to compromise nearly any computer. These threats soon took over headlines, and cybersecurity was born.

During the 2000’s more areas of life were becoming digitized, including monetary transactions. The hackers of the 90’s now had plenty of experience and victims were much more targeted. Corporations became the number one prospect for credit card breaches and ransomware.


This brings us to the cyber world of today where cybersecurity incidents are occurring on a much larger scale. More personal information is online today than ever before. Hackers are forming groups and targeting everyone from households to governments. What’s depicted in the media as a lone cybercriminal hacking from his dark basement is often misleading. These hacker organizations are often well-funded, and their sole job is to make money through these attacks, and big money.

As the world becomes more and more connected, cybercriminals become more and more of a threat. This creates a strong need for teams and measures to counteract and protect from these attacks.

Cybersecurity is about protecting assets, technology, and people. As a dealership it’s more important than ever to ensure you have protection you can trust, and protection that your employees and your consumers can trust as well. You aren’t just holding onto dealership data, but consumer and employee information too.

Just as cybercrime itself has evolved over the years, the teams and protections you employ need to evolve with them. A strong system learns from mistakes and attempts to anticipate your vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Having a protection plan in place provides you with peace of mind for your business, and the assurance for your customers and employees that their information is safe with you.

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National Sales Director IT and Communication Services

Chris Gologanoff is a Sales Director for Cyber Security, Compliance, and Communication Services including the Reynolds Integrated Telephone System, Callbright, and Proton IT and Cyber Security Solutions. He began his career at Reynolds and Reynolds working with customers on our CRM and Call Tracking solutions, connecting dealerships to their customers.

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