Cybersecurity: is it working?
Moving to a digital world is exciting and offers the ease and convenience unrivalled by some current processes. However, as we digitise everything without a second thought, are we jeopardising our safety? How secure are our details online?
Recent breaches have made international headlines and shaken consumer confidence. In 2016, over three billion consumer accounts and passwords were compromised and recent research suggests that 60% of consumers feel these password breaches are the single biggest factor causing them concern about their online security.
Are we risking it all?
Over 51% of the world’s population use the internet. That’s over 3.8 billion people emailing, banking, shopping, and even booking holidays. Just imagine the data floating about – and it will only increase.
By 2020, it’s predicted that over one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud, and data production is estimated to be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. That means billions of usernames, passwords, emails, confidential information, bank account details and more will be ripe for the picking by cyber-criminals.
Our passion for our smartphones does not help. With millennials leading the charge, it’s no surprise that 45% of all transactions now originate from a mobile device. We are quick to embrace the ease of mobile payments but are slower to worry about the consequences.
With our obvious passion for staying connected, and data breaches reaching record-highs each year, are we exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk?
It’s time to invest
After seeing major tech giants eat humble pie and admit data breaches to the world’s press – with big companies like Yahoo (twice!), Dropbox, SnapChat, and Netflix coming under attack over the past few years – it’s clear no one is infallible to the threat of cybercrime.
With companies and even political campaigns in the firing line of hackers, investors are clamouring to put their money behind the technology to protect us all.
A recent CyberSecurity Ventures report, “RansomWare Damage Report”, has put ransomware costs at dramatically increasing from $325 million in 2015 to over $5billion this year. And if you think that is a lot, another report from CyberSecurity Ventures predicts global spending on cybersecurity to surpass $1 trillion between now and 2021.
No wonder investors are looking for the next cybersecurity tech to invest in.
AI and cybersecurity
It may feel like The Terminator is required to safeguard us and our businesses from those pesky hackers, but that is not quite the AI technology receiving the investment now.
A recent $12.7 million top-up in funding has been achieved by the brains behind the artificial intelligence technology that detects suspicious activity. Versive has created the Versive Security Engine (VSE) that uses AI and machine learning to conclusively highlight when a company’s money, intellectual property, accounts and reputation is under threat.
The technology takes the data, maps out the behaviours and quickly produces a critical report, giving companies enough time to manage and prevent incoming threats.
What action can be taken is up to the individual or company, but knowing it is happening is half the battle. Then it is up to the right people to make the right decisions, and that is another barrier that needs to be overcome.
Creating a cybersecurity workforce
This is why it is not just the tech that is attracting the big dollars and cents. Getting in on the ground and training up the next generation of cybersecurity defence has also seen money flow its way.
One such investment success story is the $3.5 million Series A funding recently achieved by cybersecurity learning platform, Cybrary. Actively working with big companies like Hitachi and Tripwire to certify their teams on the ground, Cybrary wants to fill the talent gap. They are certifying and developing experienced professionals ready for the increasing openings for cybersecurity and IT positions around the world.
So where does this leave us?
The moral of the cybersecurity story is that we need to stay vigilant. Whilst tech companies are working around the world to find the system that protects us all, the answer has not yet arrived.
When it comes to the fight against cyber attacks, it’s best to be prepared. However, it seems that where tech exposes us, and our passwords, it could also save us.