Combining stuff can be very hard, you just don’t become an original thinker all of a sudden. But that being said, if we don’t at least try, we never will be an original thinker, period! So how do we do it?
Well, first we need to have a question in mind that we can use to ponder about. I have defined the actions below based upon the fact that you first need to have a topic that you can let loose your original ideas on. But if you have already a topic of your own please feel free to use this as well!
To do’s (with in italics my own actions)
- I would suggest you pick a random topic in your favourite news paper. It should be a topic that interests you (why else would you want to spend your precious time thinking about it). I’m using CNN.
- Print it out / make a photo with your smartphone / save the screen and take it with you. You can of course use a lazy Sunday morning to do this assignment, but if you do not have that luxury, it is handy to have the article with you at all times. My article from CNN is shown below: http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/31/technology/swift-bank-hacks/index.html).
- Analyse the topic. Is it a problem which needs a solution, is it an occurrence that needs explanation, state in short in your notebook what the true topic is. Problem is that hackers get into banks with a lower security threshold and pretend to be bankers sending out fraudulent messages to transfer money.
- Think of what you have seen in nature that might have a similar problem / occurrence. Nature is big and huge, perhaps this does take a bit of time to find a good similarity fit. I was thinking about a virus in the human body that passes the first defence system and start to multiply like crazy. If our immune system recognises the virus as an intruder, it will be destroyed before the virus can gain entry to a cell. If not, the process of infection begins. Once inside the cell, the virus can hijack the cell’s own replication machinery, which starts to make many copies of the virus. Or, in case of the article, if a hacker has entered the system he navigates to the SWIFT messaging service and starts to send out transfer requests.
- How does the system in nature fight of the problem / deals with the occurrence? A huge army of cells which consist of different types of white blood cells defend us. Antibodies made by B cells bind to a virus to stop it from replicating, and also tag viruses so that other blood cells know to destroy them.
- How could this be translated to our own problem? You could indeed create some kind of crawlers into your network that analyse all actions performed on the SWIFT network and tag any messages that seem out of the ordinary as they don’t follow common patterns (for instance usage of an account that post the message outside of its normal working hours, huge requests for money transfers to bank accounts without that much money in them, transfers between bank accounts that previously did not transfer money to each other). All events that are out of the ordinary are flagged. And these labeled transactions that are later recognized as being hacks, are saved so the crawlers that can detect these forms of illegal transfers quicker next time.