Easy Cyber Knowledge Chapter 3 - Social Media & Social Change


Easy Cyber Knowledge by Alfred Rolington

Chapter 3 - Social Media & Social Change


We are at the beginning of an electronic revolution that like earlier industrial revolutions will substantially alter and change our society. 

The development is probably best described as the 4th Industrial Revolution. This new revolution is taking place far quicker than previous revolutions and will significantly change us as individuals, the way we live and our engagement with others. 

This is a substantial transformation will involve the intergration of digital, physical and biological electronics which, radically alters our individual, national and global connections, our jobs, personal life and electronic systems.  It has been called a Cyber Innovation or Web 0.3, but is probably best described as the 4th Industrial Revolution. 

The innovation process will alter everything from enhance human brain thinking to automated avionics and robotics and will disintegrate and remodel many types of jobs within the media, education, business, transportation, policing, the military, medical, legal, finance and government.

This revolution will quickly develop by employing emerging technologies such as cognitive electronics, advanced analysis, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quantum computing. 

The Web is changing our views of news, history, social and political data and it is significantly changing our understanding of global society.

It has already changed the ways we communicate and these days most of the world’s population prefer to email and text rather than phone, although a telephone is of course still used when necessary. But now buying food, clothes or sending a photo is sent via the Web and most people’s news mainly comes from checking news websites. The rise of the Internet has begun debates and discussions about how online communication affects social relationships.

The Internet brings us together as communities that are not tied down to any specific place and it is a networked, global society connecting by new technologies. And the Internet has and is changing government, business, education, and it has become one of the key drivers of social evolution especially among the younger generations. The Web has removed all communication barriers and social media has created conversations and discussions about the idea of a communication democracy.

Cyber Strategy and Security

The Internet is continuing to connecting billions of people more by using mobile devices, electronic connections, storage capability, information accessibility and processing power and it will substantially increase the size of the interconnected the world. 

From 2000 to 2015, the number of global Internet users rose from 394 million to 3.5 billion and today there are over one billion Google searches every day and two billion videos viewed daily on YouTube. The average user spends 15 hours a week online.

Examples of this transformation are suggested by the way humans and other animals will become partly electronic using bio-robotic technology to change how they operate and this in the future will extend their life spans. Another example that has already begun is the global use of social media, and this has already enhanced the way in which, particularly younger refugees, have looked for place to get a new home, job and residence. 

For instance, if you were born and living in Nigeria and you review and discuss options, the mobile you use suggests you could come to Europe and be socially and economically better off and your access to social media may well give you the connections and encouragement to make the trip. 

Another example is the way that production processes that once always turn out products in exactly the same way and as perfect replicas of each other. This was always similar from car manufacturing to tennis rackets. Each item was exactly the same as the previous one being manufactured. 

But now each item can be specifically made for a particular client with the product being made to the clients own requirements. And so for instance changes in the way the client’s 520 BMW is made with different electronic air conditioning or music systems as well as specific seats, colors, wheels and lighting. 

This specific electronic process will also extend to non-production processes like education and teaching. This will mean that specific subject education will be tailored to specific individual children at school, or at college, or university. 

This interconnected world of cyber of course also offers enormous problems alongside opportunities to gain understanding, insightful data, commercial expansion and government interconnection. 

All of which can lose but, also if used well, seriously improve an individual’s knowledge, jobs and potential. And in the international realm this revolution is already positively and negatively altering our geo-politics and macro-economic development. 

The benefits that arise from these relatively recent electronic developments, such as AI, cloud and cognitive computing, are beginning to become enormously influential. However, cyberspace also includes hacker criminal threats, and the growing arena of cyber-warfare.

The potential for engaging with and countering cyber-crime comes in many new unique ways, one of which is Automated Content Recognition technologies. These can extract visual data from thousands of information streams. It can do this simultaneously and use new algorithms that can search these cloud-based indexes in seconds. 

This produces a specific relevant answer within seconds something that would have taken hours and probably days using a human analyst production process. This of course can also be used by legitimate analysts, but also hackers, and cyber criminals working for governments. 

Some of the latest AI techniques also allow users to identify specific moments or in-video elements with extreme accuracy. 

Whether it is facial recognition for national security purposes or tracking products to monitor ad spends, this technology has for instance the power to revolutionise how a range of industries use video to effect business and to monitor potential cyber-crime.

Everyone from governments, commercial organisations and individuals all need new understanding, strategies and specific tactics using Cyber’s outlook and potential. This requires a new perspective, continued research and changes to working methods employing the relevant technology that projects into the interconnected global future.

It is very important that individuals, commerce, consultants, police forces, the military, intelligence agencies and all other aspects of government create and continually review an electronic cyber strategy ensuring that this is used in their tactics on the ground. The results will be far more effective, precise and relevant than can be achieved using traditional methodologies.

Each strategy should incorporate the different areas of electronic relevance to government, commerce and individuals that offer real opportunities for globally connected future progress, while ensuring that capable security is implemented and continually up-dated to counter the negative issues.

This 4th Revolution employs deep data analysis with interconnections and links to Bio-technology, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things which will significantly alter us as humans and the places we work and live. 

When used well these processes ensure our security, as well as significantly improving the broader issues of global and national macro-economics, intelligence, law enforcement and geo-politics. 

When misused by criminals and cyber warfare activists this transformation has the potential for catastrophic outcomes. We have already witnessed the beginnings of cyber-crime and warfare and these arenas are already being used by nations in a similar way that pirates were employed by nations to carry out theft and attacks on other nations shipping. 

The Internet is being used in similar ways that oceans where employed for privateering, we are now seeing this in cyber-crime and cyber-warfare. 

The very nature of the Internet creates global collaboration is changing the way in which we view social connections and national borders. Now the modern globalised society is increasingly dependent on an array of organised and sometimes randomly interrelated electronic infrastructures. 

Many organisations and individuals see Cyber as a growing gossip and intellectually connected strategic and tactical policy network that has current and evolving opinion, news analysis, opportunity with significant security issues that can be used to steal and monitor individuals and organisational data.

Networks leave "exhaust" data, which relates to the activities and transactions of network traders and collaborators, which in turn tells us forensically much about what happened with the data’s use. We are unable to trap and reutilise this in the real world. 

But in the cyber world we can this is the powerful data that makes networks more efficient, customers better served, companies more knowledgeable. It is also a huge source of insecurity, and we have traded off these disadvantages against the upside until we can do so no more.

Cyberspace has transformed many areas of an organisation’s operational and commercial engagement. It is evolving from a technical and often complex ecosystem into a range of global and tactical actions to strategic system planning. 

These systems and their engagement require far more senior management understanding and involvement and cannot be left to the technologists. Senior management must engage and understand the strategic plans, commercial opportunities and security implications. 

Cyber has advanced from a professional IT specialty into a crucial critical strategic subject. This has affected everyone from school children, students, workers, spies, journalists, government officials, hackers, propagandists, fund-raisers, PR, company directors and terrorists. 

All forms of electronic connection, communication and attack have become digitised and radically transfigured into a new digital revolution, where different types of computers are becoming the new brain child of our culture. Just as the mechanisation of agriculture and then production took over the mussels and body of our workers so the computer begins to replace our brains.

Charles Babbage, a Cambridge University Professor, in 1837 designed the first computer called the Analytical Engine. During the machine and the program process Babbage was assisted by Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron the English poet, and arguable she became the first computer programmer.  

However, the Analytical Engine did not get built but a hundred years later Alan Turing from Cambridge University created arguably the first complex working computer that changed secret Intelligence collection and propaganda helping the Allies to win the 2nd World War. 

And so the development and engagement with computing began from a government perspective and engagement developing digital information technology.

The changes that this technology brought to individual analysis processes has been incredibly significant, however the revolution really occurs once inter-connectivity through networking occurs and we have the Internet with all the analysis, opportunities, connections and security threats that this has created.

The affects and solutions to these issues are now strategically and tactically influencing and changing all aspects of any organisations operations. And these issues need to be understood and engaged with at a senior management level and also with those who are not necessarily completely engaged with IT issues.  

The concept of CyberScape, the Internet or CyberSpace, is used to describe the systems and services directly or indirectly connected to telecommunications, electronic systems and IT computer networks. However, it also offers us ways to understand and communicate with different communities, commercial activities and to have global conversations allowing us opportunities to change activities and to alter what we, and the organisations we work for and with, will become in the future. 

The term cyberspace is used to describe systems and services connected directly to or indirectly to the Internet, telecommunications and computer networks. However, a useful way in which cyberspace can be visualised is a thin layer or nervous system running through many national and international sectors, enabling them to communicate, operate and function effectively. 

Cyber is changing our understanding and engagements with nationality and our traditional borders as the concept of country is beginning to be redefined. Cyber is altering the way we consider identity, our traditional concepts of hierarchy, beliefs and nationality. 

Cyber interconnection is also shifting our opinions and ideas of truth and authority and national borders present no barrier to cyber exchange and electronic crime both of which are on the increase. Therefore, the modern globalised society is increasingly dependent on an array of organised and interrelated electronic infrastructures and cyber opportunities and security is no longer a pure computer or IT technology issue and many governments and corporations see cyber security as a national policy matter. 

Even areas such as food, electricity, water, transportation and the infrastructure that supports that have always been critical supports systems and now the ability to deliver these supplies is increasingly electronic and tangled with information and communications technologies that have become essential elements of day to day life. Cyber in the forms of the Internet and digital technologies are transforming the global economy and connecting people as never before. The global network of interdependent information technology infrastructures, telecommunications networks and computer-processing systems in which online communication takes place 24/7 is moving our everyday activities such as banking, shopping and access to government services increasingly towards being carried out electronically.

The cyber-threat landscape has evolved significantly in recent years. From primarily a threat of denial of service and website vandalism in years past, to the currently advanced and well-resourced adversaries employing complex technologies to achieve financial and political benefit. 

We have observed huge increases in suspicious network activity directed at our corporate networks, sometimes even targeting key individuals. Due to the huge global increase in demand for fortune cookie messages, it is reasonable to expect that this undesired attention will only increase in the coming months and years as cyber-criminals and possibly corporate spies attempt to closely monitor our business activities and steal vital business information.

The Internet represents the biggest development in the world economy since the First and Second Industrial Revolutions and has been described as the Third Industrial Revolution, or more precisely the Digital Revolution and the new Information Age. It represents the change from mechanical, analog and electronic to digital technology.

A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes one of which is three-dimensional printing, that is a manufacturing process which creates three dimensional objects using an industrial robot and a whole range of web-based services. 

The factory of the past was based on cranking out millions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was black. But the cost of producing much smaller batches of a wider variety, with each product tailored precisely to each customer's whims, is shrinking. 

The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation and may look more like the original weavers' cottages than a Ford assembly line, however the issues around security and theft of ideas, products and copyright will increase and need to be continuously addressed.

Like all revolutions, this one is and will continue to be disruptive. Digital technology has already rocked the media and retailing industries, just as cotton mills crushed hand looms and the Model T put farriers out of work. Many people will look at the factories of the future and shudder. They will not be full of grimy machines manned by men in oily overalls. Many will be squeaky clean, and almost deserted. Some carmakers already produce twice as many vehicles per employee as they did only a decade or so ago. 

Most jobs will not be on the factory floor but in the offices nearby, which will be full of designers, engineers, IT specialists, logistics experts, marketing staff and other professionals. The manufacturing jobs of the future will require more skills. Many dull, repetitive tasks will become obsolete: you no longer need riveters when a product has no rivets.
Web Education

The Web has changed many systems of education creating a networked connected future and so students and workers can use the Web to blog and share knowledge which can develop new ways of teaching, learning, creation and imagination at any-time, anywhere, using many devices. 

These days you can use the Web to access libraries, encyclopedias, art galleries, news archives, and other information sources from anywhere in the world enhancing and improving the progress for a student or an employee building knowledge and understanding that can improve their tests and working environment.
Security and Privacy

Privacy has become something that most Web users are aware of but this change is relatively recent and is still in need of more attention when using social media. Often people post bad pictures or inappropriate statements and comments and sometimes criminal statements and many people behave badly on social media.

We need to become far more aware of the implications and monitoring of social media that is going on and become more private in our social media activities.  We should become more aware that different Web platforms offer different privacy experiences. Some of them are entirely open and public; no steps whatsoever are taken to protect personal information, and all profiles can be indexed by Internet search engines. The social media systems should improve their self-regulating processes and promote a new age of on-line safe time. 

Monitoring for abusive and criminal use must become an on-going aspect of social media and up-dating user’s education and understanding of how the systems work and can be used safely should continue to happen.
Webbing Culture and Identity 

The changes and developments to globalised information, news and communication technologies is altering the way we think about culture and the attitudes of where we live and work and globalisation is altering the meaning of cultural country identity as cultural flows across borders and moves around the globe. Finding areas of new understanding, culture and knowledge is quicker and much easier for students and anyone looking for specific facts compared to the recent older uses of libraries as often their indexing systems was, and still is, often less precise than current Web search engines like Google. 

However, some people criticise search engines for promoting propaganda and fake news et al, yet the Web has undoubtedly increased society’s knowledge and understanding. 

It has changed and altered the ways that we interact with other friends, family and work. We are more likely to email and text rather than meet face-to-face or even phone. The up-side of on-line connections is that it almost doesn’t matter where they are in world we can still connect and send thoughts. We now communicate 60 to 75% using text or email.  

Knowledge for the New Digital Age
This 4th Revolution employs deep data analysis with interconnections and links to Bio-technology, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things all of which will significantly alter us as humans and the places we work and live and it has already changed crime and is changing warfare.
Cyber Attacks and Fraud
National crime is for most countries now 50% cyber, yet this is not being focused on by national police forces who don’t have the experience or systems to deal with this type of crime.  Currently Londoners are losing an average of £26 million a month in cyber-attacks on businesses and individuals, Scotland Yard has warned.

What does Cyber-Warfare look like?
Cyber-war is still an emerging concept, but many experts are concerned that it is likely to be a significant component of any future conflicts. As well as troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles, future wars will also be fought by hackers using computer code to attack an enemy's infrastructure.

At its core, cyber warfare, currently, is the use of digital attacks by one country or nation to disrupt the computer systems of another with the aim of create significant infrastructure damage, and potential assistance to more traditional military attack – this military strategy and tactics is similar to the beginning of aircraft use at the beginning of the 20th century when aircraft were only seen as having a visual intelligence use.

So in the Commercial World how do we develop a Cyber Security practice for a Digital Commercial Future?
Organisations must review the best ways to go about developing sound cyber-security policies and practices in 2019 that could be used for commercial gain as well as internal commercial security. 

Here are Five Recommendations

Update software and systems
This requires centralised IT policy that adopts a 'push' methodology, forcing new security updates onto a user's device when they connect to the network, instead of a 'pull' methodology, which notifies the user that a new security patch is available and gives them the option to load this new software when it's convenient.

Conduct top-to-bottom Cyber Security Audits
Your company should conduct a thorough cyber security audit of its IT assets and practices. 
These audits should be carried out by an independent cyber-audit business that brings a clear understanding of cyber security to the business being audited, this would be similar to a Financial Audit and so it should also bring a certification of completion and security each year.

Provide continuing Cyber-Security Training 
Cyber-security education should be a part of every employee’s work process. 
On a quarterly basis, a refresher course in cyber-security practices should also be given to employee’s company-wide. 
This ensures that security policies and practices stay fresh in employees' minds, and that they understand any policy additions or changes.

Sales and Marketing
Your planning, sales and marketing departments should use web search and analysis of the markets, your clients and potential markets and new clients. Full electronic market research is very effective for understanding your current clients and building new markets and clients.

Inform your Board and Chief Executive
This makes it important for Chief Information Officers, Chief Security Officers, and others with security responsibilities to clearly explain cybersecurity and digital research technologies in plain language that the Board, and stakeholders understand. 


You Might Also Read: 

Easy Cyber Knowledge: Ch.1 Internet History (£):

Easy Cyber Knowledge Ch.2: Deep Web And The Dark Web (£):




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