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A Safer World Starts With a Safer Internet

While the internet serves a positive role by creating a gateway to the entire world, it also can be an entryway to some very dark and dangerous places.

With technology constantly surrounding us in our everyday lives, kids are beginning to surf the internet at a younger age, making them more vulnerable to online threats. But this growing risk applies to people of all ages--as well as businesses. More companies than ever are taking their products and services online, opening both their users and their internal systems up to a barrage of cyberattacks and adversaries.

Holidays such as Safer Internet Day serve as a reminder for everyone across the globe to participate in creating a safer, more secure internet for everyone. Leading technology experts have provided their thoughts on the importance of creating a safer digital world below:

Stephen Gailey, solutions architect, Exabeam

"The Internet started with two terminals, each in a university computer science department, and has now become billions of connected devices globally. We're now witnessing the birth of the next device boom: the Internet of Things (IoT). There is, of course, a security cost associated with this. Modern software development techniques are a rich source of future security bugs. As people continue to connect their household devices to the Internet, you can expect to see some significant privacy breaches over the coming years. We need to be thinking about this now, particularly as organizations lacking the skills or experience to build such products jump onto the IoT bandwagon."

Neil Barton, CTO, WhereScape

"On Safer Internet Day, it's important to remember how far we've come since the first websites were launched. IDC forecasts that the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will rise to 82.5 million by 2020. With so many new connected devices and data sources, it is a challenge for IT teams to incorporate data into existing analytics environments, while also ensuring that businesses and customers remain safe and protected.

With data automation software significantly reducing the amount of manual coding, IT staff are freed up to ensure that data infrastructure is delivering results with security top of mind. Moreover, data infrastructure automation aids in data privacy and compliance, by enabling businesses to know where each piece of data sits and who can access it, as well as tag it and track its lineage in order to understand its usage."

Trevor Bidle, VP of information security and compliance officer, US Signal

"The last year has seen an increase in data breach and hacking activities, along with the proliferation of ransomware attacks. On Safer Internet Day, it's important to remember the vitality of having a data protection plan in place. Data protection starts with understanding your data assets and where they are housed. Ensuring timely patching and vulnerability scanning is important, as is developing a tiered recovery plan to protect the data. A well-developed data protection strategy should address the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data."

Joseph Feiman, chief strategy officer, WhiteHat Security

"While the internet has brought along monumental advances in technology, we cannot celebrate it without also taking a moment to reflect on how it has completely changed the way we approach privacy. Fifty years ago, we believed that our privacy was a given right and the phrase ‘data breach' was not even a concept. Today, whether alone or in combination, no technology will enable our privacy the way it was before the internet.

So how do we continue to take advantage of all the internet has to offer us and strengthen our security? Once government organizations and enterprises realize they are unable to protect all of the ever-growing volumes of data in the next five years, they will begin releasing them into open (or semi-open) access, making it available to most or all people. While this may seem outrageous now, think about the amount of information we have started to share with the world via Facebook and Twitter as well as postings on websites, blogs and internet communities.

Just a few years ago, this personal information never would have been posted anywhere. Therefore, if an individual is already sharing it, does the government have to protect it? The internet has transformed us into an open society with a lack of privacy. Just as we embraced the connected world around us, a change in our security mindset as a culture will help us live happily."

Todd Kelly, CSO at Cradlepoint

"In 2019, as the network security industry develops better detection and defence solutions, traditional fixed perimeter-based approaches to network security will evolve. Cybersecurity concerns are real but by using expert cloud-based management platforms and software-defined perimeter technologies, they can be effectively addressed. There will always be devices that are compromised and vulnerabilities that are exposed but just as we've built these technologies, we've also built the safety constructs to protect them. If we commit to tried and true security practices while adopting new approaches that leverage wireless, software-defined and cloud technologies we don't have to let our concerns unduly impact our progress."

Steve Blow, Tech Evangelist at Zerto

"Staying safe online is a concept we all think we know about - but when it really boils down to it, are we as safe as we think? The most important thing online is your data. Think about it, everything you do online leaves a digital footprint. It may seem like nothing on its own, but all of this combined creates a picture of you.

So, in today's modern age of online consumerism, it's important businesses have tools in place which, in the face of adversity, can recover data and regain control, ensuring they are resilient against the many threats the Internet faces. As ransomware attacks in particular are likely to grow in 2019, companies need to start looking outside of traditional backup capabilities to keep the business online and safe; they need to choose a modern, resilience approach that can utilise continuous data protection."

Jeff Bishop, Chief Product Officer at ConnectWise

"On Safer Internet Day, it's important to remember that tech scams are on the rise around the world. It benefits all technology solution providers (TSPs) to make sure they're taking the time to help their customers recognize the red flags before it's too late.

If you work in the technology industry, it's likely you've gotten a call from an upset customer who's fallen prey to a tech scammer. They saw a pop-up notification offering a free security scan, or received a scary email informing them that their computer was infected and all their files were at risk. Disturbed by the notion that they might lose all their data, they complied with the instructions and allowed the stranger on the other side to remotely access their machine. It's possible that they've received legitimate remote support in the past, so they knew what to expect. After all, even the caller ID looked legitimate. Unfortunately, you know all too well how the story ends. The scammer gains access to the device, and then requests payment for fixing a non-existent issue, and possibly installs malware or spyware for easy access later. Your customer is left feeling violated and confused. Now, they're knocking on your door for help.

Proactive and continuous customer outreach and education will go a long way in showing that you care about their cyber safety. And if you pair those efforts with remote support and access software that offers transparency and security, you'll be well on your way to establishing your business as a trusted technology advisor."

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Published Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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