3 July 2012
You may remember that recently I wrote about the deluge of passwords and pin numbers that we all have to remember to protect ourselves online and my Swedish colleagues also recently wrote about the issue (in Swedish). Well, it’s not just personal security that is hot topic at the moment here in Brussels; there is now a large amount of attention being put into the security of our networks and infrastructure in the run up the Commissions’ cyber security strategy in the autumn. Events of recent years such as the attack on Estonia back in 2007 to the rise in attacks on corporate websites as well as malware and phishing which are becoming all the more prevalent and are being carried out in more sophisticated ways by expert hackers. The issues have risen to the attention of not just governments but also private citizens, corporate organisations and also the wider internet hacker community.
The Commission has already laid out in its digital agenda goals some of the key areas of internet security; they focus on being able to ‘raise the alarm’ adequately, but also the robustness of Europe’s security infrastructure. One of the key features of the goals also looks at information sharing and collaboration at certain levels which I think gives rise to a challenge which faces the vast majority of policy debates right now: how do we deal with a global issue at a regional level? This is a trend which will continue to grow as more and more of our resources are spent and consumed in an online world which is not constrained by national borders.
There is I believe a market driven solution to a lot of the issues around security (although I must confess I am not an expert) and it goes back to the core point of any policy discussion; find out what people value and that is what will reap rewards (I have discussed this same process when looking at issues such as network roll out). As more and more people move their personal data and vital services such as banking, e-government services, e-health online people will place an ever increasing value on those services being secure. Those who can competitively differentiate themselves by being the ‘most secure’ I think will find themselves being the most successful in attracting consumers and businesses to their services.
Misha Glenny, in this interesting talk makes us consider should we hire the hackers? Bring those who are most adept at causing disruption onto the side of those looking to stop it. I would also really encourage those who have an interest in this issue to watch the following video by Mikko Hyppönen who discusses the challenges of being the first truly online generation and our commitment to fighting cybercrime. We can be sure that this is an on-going battle that will see the sophistication and efforts of those who wish to do harm increase and so to the efforts of organisations, be them public or private to stop them.
At TeliaSonera we value the security of our customer data and our networks which provide internet access for millions of people and connect many millions of businesses and services around the world with utmost importance. We will continue to engage in this ongoing debate in the months and years to come.