For describing the misuse of the internet, words starting with “cyber…”, like cyberwar, cybertheft, cybermobbing, are commonly used. Normally people then mean attacks through the internet, possibly by hackers.

The prefix “Cyber-” probably became popular in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan started the Strategic Defense Initiative, which made a “cyberwar” possible. The program was frightening and mysterious because of its new unprecedented technical dimension.

More than three decades later internet is everywhere and not really obscure to most users. But still people talk about cyberattacks rather than internetattacks. Using “Cyber-“words seems to be common only for describing the mysterious and bad stuff in the internet, but it is not used not for normal internet activities. For instance, you would never say “I bought this book in cyberspace”.

But what’s the problem with that terminologie? If non-IT people talk cyber, it does not matter at all. However, also IT-professionals frequently use cyber-terminologie and even in the legislation it is well established. Besides that it sounds a bit amateurish (from my perspective), the definition of cyber is also different then: it refers to any IT attack, not only through the internet. Of course this makes very much sense from technical perspective.

It is worth to know that much more data is stolen by internal staff, i.e. authorized users, than by hackers. Legally, this would also be called a “cyberattack” in many legislations. Strange, isn’t it?

If it happens that critical data from you organization “leaks” to the internet, better do not call it a cyberattack too fast. If you later figure out that simply an internal with fully granted authorizations had downloaded and misused the data, it could look embarrassing.

Maybe “Cyber-” terminologie should better be reserved for science fiction movies and stories …

If you want to protect against data theft then UI-logging is a very effective protection in your SAP environment.

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