Cybersecurity and its Trends:
State and non-State actors use digital technology to achieve economic and military advantage, foment instability, and increase control over cyberspace, sometimes faster than our ability to understand the implications and neutralize the threat. Cybersecurity protects all categories of data from theft and damage, including sensitive data, PII, PHI, intellectual property, and governmental information systems. Poor global connectivity and reliance on cloud services to store data can result in the risk of cyber-attacks.
Consumer Data and Privacy
Consumer privacy involves the handling and protection of sensitive PII provided through the course of everyday interactions. The internet has evolved into a medium of commerce, making consumer data privacy a growing concern. When data is misused or inadequately protected, identity theft, financial fraud, and other costly problems occur. As consumers adopt digital technology, the data they generate creates the opportunity for enterprises to improve consumer engagement and increase their responsibility to keep consumer data safe, including location-tracking and other kinds of PII, which are immensely valuable. Consumers and their governments are becoming more intentional about what types of data they share, and with whom, and are more likely to share only what’s necessary.
Current National Data Privacy Laws
The U.S. currently has disparate federal and state laws, which look at and regulate specific types of data (credit, health information, or specific populations). Europe has a comprehensive privacy law (GDPR) that requires companies to request permission to share user data and gives individuals rights to access, delete, and control the use of their data. Only three U.S. states have comprehensive data privacy laws, California, Virginia, and Colorado. Under these laws, a company must notify the consumer of data sales, and allow the option to refuse, delete, correct, or move the data.
Cyber-Warfare, Data, and National Security
The U.S, among other countries, has weaponized social media, artificial online profiles, and deepfakes with the global popularization of social media. Viewpoints asserted by personas of certain demographics or political philosophies may be more appealing to targets of influence than a government’s viewpoint. Additionally, fear of data collection by other countries has drawn concerns in recent years. Exemplified by TikTok, which has been banned by the US military, the possibility of data corruption by governments has risen over the years. In response to these issues, more internet regulation has been created around national security concerns, privacy laws, antitrust, and data protection. As a result, the internet has become less central over time. This trend, known as the Splinternet, leads to a lack of shared information and global internet freedom, and an increase in digital surveillance.
Cybercriminals are becoming more knowledgeable, strategic, and organized, leading to an increase in the number of digital attacks on individuals, businesses, and governments. Over $6.9 billion were lost due to cybercrime in 2021 . Organized crime syndicates have consistently extorted companies and individuals and have taken billions of dollars, making headlines in the media. Even traditional crime syndicates like drug cartels have delved into cybercrime to hack governments and steal money.