Earlier this year, a host of the world’s biggest tech firms agreed to a joint security charter, designed to guard their customers and products from cyber-attacks. The new Cybersecurity Tech Accord involves some of the most prominent and influential technology giants, including Microsoft, Facebook, HP, and Oracle, all of whom are keen to prevent cyber-criminals and nation states from lurking around their customers and within their connected technologies. The primary aim of the charter is to collaborate on tougher cyber-defence strategies to repel cyber-attackers and ensure that consumers can rely on 24/7 protection.
Cyber protection for a truly connected world
One trillion connected devices are forecast to be deployed throughout the next two decade – reinforcing the need for a “trusted foundation” for consumers according to Carolyn Herzog, general counsel at chip and technological device architects Arm. Herzog believes the alignment of “resources, expertise and thinking” of some of the most influential tech companies in the world can only be a positive step for tech users.
Kevin Simzer, chief operating officer at multinational cyber defence and security firm Trend Micro, concurs that the real-world effects of cyber-crime are already being felt and that the Cybersecurity Tech Accord was necessary to “stop future attacks from causing even more damage”. Last month, key companies in the global communications infrastructure – such as cloud-based platform Salesforce – also sought to join the watershed agreement, pledging equal protection for consumers worldwide.
In the UK alone, a recent report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) confirms that Britain’s cyber-security risk is “greater than ever before”. Although tech firms need to invest more heavily in repairing security holes and guarding against future breaches, it is money well spent compared with the damage to their reputation and trust from customers.
The need for adequate online encryption in all sectors
Given that digital businesses are unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon, it’s important for consumers to be adequately protected with online encryption on every device they use. One of the highest-profile instances of online protection being essential in maintaining the integrity of tech brands involves online poker professionals. Those with full-time bankrolls have been understandably twitchy when it comes to protecting their gaming funds in recent years; particularly after previous legislative issues in the US.
Furthermore, with the growing prevalence of cyber-crime, it has been important for online networks to look after their valued players and provide a cutting-edge tech solution to maintain the integrity of their games. RSA security tokens, for example, are becoming increasingly popular. This additional security generates a unique password that must be entered in order to log in to the game client. Essentially, this is very similar to the two-factor authentication that is now offered by Google.
Consumer devices will continue to attract criminal attention
In terms of the trends that tech giants must be mindful of in 2018 and beyond, they must accept and focus on the fact that attackers will continue to pepper consumer devices. Cyber-attackers are getting smarter by the day, writing targeted code that pinpoints weaknesses in a variety of sectors far quicker than defenders are currently able to counter. In the financial sector, consumers are actually switching back to direct bank transfers rather than using debit and credit cards to avoid the threat of having their sensitive data stolen. The continued presence of the Dark Web, a hideout for cyber-criminals to hang out online and plot attacks outside the public glare, should always be a concern for those within the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.