Cyber Security – More Important Than Ever


Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., once stated : “Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”. With the development of e-commerce, consumers’ personal information is increasingly embedded in the web. While increased convenience is a main advantage of ordering online, the privacy issues arising from leaving a digital trace of your personal information are complex, and more important than ever at this moment. Newsweek stated that 2014 was the “year of cyberattacks”, and has made consumers more aware of online security risks than they have ever been. In 2014 alone, the security systems of a variety of companies, including, but not limited to Sony, JP Morgan, Home Depot and Target were infiltrated, causing millions of customer accounts (including credit card information) to be compromised.

The question now is: How do companies regain the trust of consumers, and what needs to be done to improve cyber security software?

The problem is rooted in both technology and business. On the one hand, developers need to find better ways of producing secure software, while companies need to be able to convince consumers that their data is safe with them, and implement the right security procedures.

An obvious result of the above incidents is that firms are continuously investing in cyber security solutions. In 2013, over 1 billion dollars was invested in security firms by VC’s. This number will naturally grow even further considering the incidents of 2014. A main trend is that firms increasingly use Automated Incidence Response Systems. These are systems that not only detect malicious intrusions, but can act on them quicker than humans could manually. This technology acknowledges the fact that no system is 100% secure, but rather limits the damage that is made after a breach is detected, until it is resolved. As security software entrepreneur Kevin Mandia states “ It is no longer about prevention, it is about detection”. While innovation in the cyber security space is developing rapidly, so are the hackers. Firms must therefore focus on understanding the threats and learning to detect and treat them properly.

Deepak Jeevenkumar, an enterprise IT investor, stated that “trust is a main competitive advantage for firms”. Due to the high level of breaches in recent years, rebuilding the trust of the community and consumers is key. He even goes further saying that every company nowadays should employ a Chief Trust Offer, whose sole responsibility is addressing the privacy and security needs of the stakeholders by implementing the correct tech tools. A combination of valuable tech innovations and effective security procedures will be required to accomplish this.

Considering the continuous development of innovations from both cyber security firms, and also hackers, it will be interesting to see which innovations will prevail in keeping customer data safe, and which measures will allow firms to regain the trust of their customers.

What do you think? Which measures must firms implement to convince consumers that their data is being handled properly? Will there ever be innovations that completely solve these cyber security threats?

References:

Jeevankumar, D. (2015). Crossing the Cybersecurity Trust Chasm. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/29/crossing-the-cybersecurity-trust-chasm/#.ehexz9:iRNX [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

Leitersdorf, Y. and Schreiber, O. (2015). Cybersecurity Hindsight And A Look Ahead At 2015. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2014/12/28/cyber-security-hindsight-2020-and-a-look-ahead-at-2015/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

Mello Jr., J. (2015). Security Pros Struggle With Cyberthreat Angst | Cybersecurity | TechNewsWorld. [online] Technewsworld.com. Available at: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/80394.html [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

Schlein, T. (2015). The Five Tough Truths Of Cybersecurity Software. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/31/the-five-tough-truths-of-cybersecurity-software/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

Siegler, M. (2015). Eric Schmidt: Every 2 Days We Create As Much Information As We Did Up To 2003. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/schmidt-data/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

Tobias, S. (2015). 2014: The Year of Cyber Attacks. [online] Newsweek.com. Available at: http://www.newsweek.com/2014-year-cyber-attacks-295876 [Accessed 4 Oct. 2015].

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