Protecting Human Rights in the Era of Cyber Information Warfare

By

Disinformation is undermining the limitless potential of technology to be a positive force for industries, businesses and communities.

In the current global landscape, barely a conversation goes by without mention of “fake news” and its ability to mislead critical discourse regarding events such as elections and current affairs around the world.

Combined with the fact that the definition of privacy is constantly being redefined in the age of ‘surveillance capitalism’, this means it’s a not-so-metaphorical minefield out there when it comes to safeguarding our data.

In light of this, the onus is increasingly on data protection and cybersecurity technologies to protect the integrity of our human rights in the face of cyber information warfare. But businesses too must ensure they remain on the right side of using data ethically, compliantly and securely.

Data Protection Day is an opportunity to explore some of the technologies leading the way in the fight against cyber (dis)information and how businesses can take up arms to protect our rights as employees, consumers, and citizens.

Data protection as a human right

Unbeknown to some, data protection is a human right. In Europe, it’s for this reason that we celebrate Data Protection Day, which this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

Or in short – Convention 108: the treaty that spawned the first European Union-wide data protection laws, which is today covered within the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Despite the significant financial and reputational damage for failing to protect this basic human right, it’s data protection, or rather a lack of, which continues to grab headlines.  

Fortunately, data protection and cybersecurity technologies are striving to change this.

Technology: a vital weapon in the fight against cyber information warfare

A lot has been said about technology’s role as an enabler for spreading disinformation and inciting cyber information warfare. But more vitally, it’s our biggest weapon in the fight against cybercriminals.

This is particularly true with its role as a guardian against a choice weapon of cybercriminals. Ransomware is a maliciously created malware that encrypts files and storage. It is one of the most intractable and common threats facing organisations across all industries and geographies.

Predominantly, attackers use ransomware to extort money. But many attacks also seek out production and backup files, as well as documents. By encrypting those too, the attack leaves organisations with no choice but to meet the demands of cybercriminals.

By the end of 2021, the global cost of ransomware damage is predicted to reach $20 billion (USD), according to the 2019 Veeam Ransomware Study. But more damaging still is the countless violations of human rights as ransomware attackers increasingly threaten to leak stolen data.

To combat this – and the rising challenges of cybercriminals working together – it’s important for technology to form its own armies and alliances, such as the ransomware protection alliance Veeam has formed with a number of partners including: Cisco, AWS, Lenovo, HP and Cloudian.

But of course, cybercriminals are always seeking new and innovative ways to steal data and since the start of COVID-19, businesses haven’t been the only ones accelerating their digital transformation – with cyberattacks on cloud systems spiking 250% from 2019 to 2020.

In response, it’s more important than ever to work with technology partners that not only prioritise the data management needs of today, but are also looking to the cloud and security solutions of tomorrow – all the while remaining one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Using data ethically, compliantly and securely

In this digital age, businesses have more responsibility than ever to use data ethically, compliantly and securely. Doing so is not a nice-to-have or something that sits atop a business agenda. It’s a human right!

But still, too many businesses are inadvertently aiding the efforts of cybercriminals with their lackadaisical approach to data security. In a recent article, Mohamed al-Kuwaiti, head of UAE Government Cyber Security was quoted saying that ‘the Middle East region is facing a “cyber pandemic” with Covid-19 related attacks skyrocketing in 2020’.  Trend Micro recorded over 50m cyber-attacks in the GCC region during the first half of 2020.

Fines and reputational damage are of course deterrents. However, we’re still seeing too many data breaches and businesses must do more to curb the plight of data protection. To this end, technology is once again a key enabler.

Regardless of your business size, find a solution that ensures data security, compliance and customer privacy requirements are met. Don’t just take a vendor’s word that their solutions are secure – read customer testimonials, do your research and look to respected rewards bodies.

In the business year ahead, maintaining customer trust will be a core priority – there’s enough going on in the world for them to also be worrying about the welfare of their data, after all.

So, putting your trust in the right technology can help uphold our human rights and take giant strides in the war against cybercriminals.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Journey Mapping: Cultivating a Mindset for Security Awareness

By: Special Guest    4/19/2021

When was the last time you crawled inside someone's mind? You would probably perceive it as not a very comfortable place to be. After all, people are …

Read More

Cisco Named Official Technology Partner of NFL

By: Luke Bellos    4/15/2021

Cisco and The NFL have formed a strategic partnership to form a league-wide platform for unified network connectivity.

Read More

Finding the Right Chemistry: Investing in the Future of Advanced Materials

By: Arti Loftus    4/13/2021

Like Gorilla Glass for smartphones, the application of Advanced Materials has the potential to revolutionize products, and this is driving an increasi…

Read More

Driving the Future Forward with Advanced Lithium-Ion Batteries: Made in Alabama

By: Arti Loftus    4/12/2021

The current limitations of battery technology are the main obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) - including their c…

Read More

3 Types of Interactive Content and Why Marketers Use It

By: Special Guest    4/8/2021

Content is good, interactive content is better. We all know content is king, and while nobody would deny this, it's actually interactivity that makes …

Read More