Demystifying Security and Its Threats

As technology becomes more advanced, and therefore more intertwined in our lives, security will become an even more pressing issue. In 2017, Norton reported that U.S. consumers’ losses totaled $19.4 billion, and, on average, each victim spent nearly 20 hours dealing with the fallout. It’s not difficult to recognize the vulnerabilities, financial losses and threat to privacy that our tech culture invites.

In fact, headlines about security are constantly making front page news. The New York Times has been reporting on the recent Facebook breach, which affected 50 million accounts. USA Today published an article on how to discover what Alexa can hear in your house.

We all want to feel secure—in our relationships, retirement plans, communities AND on our personal devices. Because information is so free, so available and so often violated, it seems that we either need to fundamentally change how we interact with technology OR the technology needs to advance to accommodate our natural tendencies. The latter is an easier sell and honestly a better idea. The question is: how? How will the tech landscape evolve to include security features that are intuitive AND more locked down?

Knowledge is Power

No one likes to feel surveilled, but do we know what information is actually being tracked and recorded and what it’s used for? We all know that Google is tracking our location, but does Google really use that against us? I’m honestly not sure. Making this type of knowledge common may ease a lot of worry. To read more about the need for public interest technology, please visit our blog. At the end the day, it may very well be the case that Google doesn’t care where you are or what you’re doing, just that it can help you get from point A to point B. Better security education will involve understanding what’s really at risk and practical measures we can take as preventative action.

Designing Simpler Solutions

Often, the subtle cause behind a security breach is human error (e.g., using a weak password, clicking a suspicious link, failing to download security updates, etc.). What consumers need are solutions that make security easier, ones that don’t ignore but rather embrace these human tendencies. Security shouldn’t be a burden – it should be part of the function. Things like voice recognition, facial recognition and finger printing will continue and (hopefully) remove the potential for human error. More and more, we’ll see security solutions that work alongside human behavior and not against it.

Initiatives to Improve Transparency

This past year, both Google and Facebook came under major scrutiny for privacy violations. This pressure isn’t likely to let up. Until there are transparent regulations that businesses must abide by, and that are accessible to the public, how major companies conduct security will remain mysterious. As the tech market continues to evolve and reshape the way publishers do business, we’ll see increased initiatives that promote transparency and fair play.

Making Security Less Scary

Security shouldn’t be overwhelming or scary. As technology advisors, we have a responsibility to make applications easier for consumers to both understand and use. Demystifying security is a crucial step toward cultural advancement and ease of mind. If you’re interested in learning more about security for business, check out the following articles!