If today’s digitized financial system is vulnerable to attack, then so are your assets!
The timing of cyberattacks cannot be predicted, the extent of damage cannot be anticipated, and the size, location, and strength of cyber aggressors remain unknown. Without this information, all digital systems are virtual sitting ducks. And this information is virtually impossible to find, as hacking collectives are extremely mobile and adaptive--a level of adeptness matched only by their tactics.
If there is any certainty in this scenario, it is the knowledge that cyber threats are perpetually multiplying and that cyber attack methods are evolving at an accelerated pace. With every foiled attempt, with every cybersecurity countermeasure developed, hackers are adapting their tactics to come up with even more sophisticated ways of stealing or destroying digitized assets.
Digital threats define our technological reality
As recently as a few weeks ago, the ransomware virus, WannaCry, infected hundreds of thousands of computers across 150 countries, targeting institutions in various industries. It is suspected that this series of attacks were linked to Lazarus, a North Korean hacking group responsible for the Sony Pictures hack, the $101 million hack of Bangladesh’s central bank, and several other bank hacking attempts worldwide.
Mind you, this is just one among several highly amorphous and extremely sophisticated hacking groups whose accomplishments spell an end game of catastrophic proportions for their victims.
You may also remember the viciously cunning DDoS attack in 2016 where a virus took 180,000 IP addresses, all of which belonged to ordinary Americans, and turned them against major US companies.
But what many don’t hear about are the insidious attacks taking place on a daily basis. In 2013--four years ago--the Pentagon reported 10 million attacks per day; the UK reported 120,000 incidents per day; the state of Michigan reported a similar number; Utah faced 20 million attempts daily, a figure that is up from only 1 million (daily) in 2011.
Bear in mind that these figures were recorded in 2013. Cyber attacks don’t increase incrementally. They increase exponentially!
And every foiled attempt is an opportunity for hackers to re-assess and fine-tune their nefarious tactics. The indication is clear: cyber threats are not the exception, they are the norm.
The biggest cyber attack yet to come signals the dawning of more to follow
Just last week, in a cyber security conference at The Hague, Dutch spy chief Rob Bertholee warned that the world was on the brink of “serious digital sabotage” so severe that it can potentially cause “chaos and disorder” across the globe.
Along with the sabotage of major institutions and digitally-dependent infrastructure, he stated “Imagine what would happen if the entire banking system were sabotaged for a day, two days, for a week.”
What if financial institutions were sabotaged? What assets would be at risk? It seems like just about every form of digitized asset would be at risk: cash, digitized precious metal holdings, cryptocurrencies, etc.
More importantly, what assets would be immune to a digital attack?
It’s inconceivable that a cyber attack would affect the holdings of non-digitized physical gold and silver. This is yet another reason--one that could only have been conceived in the 21st century--that physical gold and silver are considered “safe havens.”
Robust upside or unlimited downside? It’s ultimately your choice
If you decide to stick with the digital banking system, you are making a wager that your assets will be safe from a cyber attack, But if you are wrong, the downside is potentially unlimited. There’s no reason to believe that you will not lose everything (or close to it).
But if you hold non-digitized gold and silver, your assets would not be vulnerable. Gold and silver can never go to zero, unlike paper or digital assets. Their intrinsic value--as sound money--will remain stable. And should we ever experience a real or digital armageddon, wherein currencies are no longer reliable, what then will constitute money?
Which is the safer bet? A robust upside or a potentially unlimited downside? This is a choice you will have to make.
But choose wisely.
Should that dreaded day ever come, you may never have an opportunity to make this choice again.