The Changing Face of Cyber SecurityJune 1, 2018
Almost everything we do nowadays is done on the internet. Be it on the computer, or on the smartphone, by using an app or a website, almost all our activities are done using the cyber waves. Starting from when we wake up, we like to check the news on our smartphones instead of reading the newspaper, we measure our calories burnt on our fitbits while completing our morning jog, we check the weather forecast on our smartwatches, we connect with friends or look up job offers on our laptops, we book our tickets for the evening movie, we make reservations for dinner, all of it through the internet on our laptops.
While this has made a huge difference to our convenience, the underlying issue of security still persists. Many of these conveniences and applications require us to provide our personal details, geographic location and even contact numbers. While these are of no consequence to a service provider, it still makes consumers vulnerable to data theft. Theft of identity is a major problem that many of us underestimate. An even bigger problem is financial fraud where your credit card details are hacked and misused.
Most websites and apps which need a financial transaction from customers have multiple levels of security for their websites so that user data is not compromised. But it is still true that 99 percent of computers are still vulnerable to cyber-attacks or malware. The first reason for is that data volume has increased exponentially over the last few years, and to keep all of it clean requires a huge effort. Second, companies wanting to integrate cybersecurity into their systems are unable to scale up the defenses using regular tools based on SQL without incurring huge expenses. This is the reason Big Data and Analytics is being used in a big way to ensure payment security. This kind of cyber security must have three levels of defense – to prevent any instances, to detect risks before they actually occur, and to adequately respond to any cyber threats to security.
First, advanced analytics can detect unusual activity in a system. For example, if an employee’s mobile device is being inadvertently or purposefully used to download company data, an alarm would be sounded in advance. Secondly, Fintech applications can also plough through tens and hundreds of previous instances and try to form patterns how the attack was done. This will make it easier to come up with an adequate response and proper defenses. Thirdly, these analytics solutions would be able to look at the worldwide macro trends of malware movements that will help to understand possible threats and how best to tackle them.
As a way of protecting themselves from cyber attacks, many companies are also opting for cyber insurance. Just like a health insurance provides protection against major illnesses and hospitalization costs, a cyber insurance protects the insured company against loss of revenue, data, reputation and future business due to a cyber attack or a malware attack. The underwriting of a cyber insurance policy would be very complicated because the landscape of cyber crime is still very hazy and unclear. Also, it is not easy to estimate the extent of loss due to a cyber attack, or at least to convert it into the dollar value.
Even governments have woken up to the real and present danger of cyber crimes, and the immense potential for damage that a data leak or a data theft carries. That is why many countries are putting in place cyber regulations to protect the owner of data and the initiator of e-commerce transactions.