The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a tragic upheaval to most people’s way of life. It has also revealed some fundamental aspects of the digital world that could be improved to address the move towards remote communication and the need for security during this ‘new normal’ period of business. While the pandemic provided a dramatic level of focus on these issues, COVID isn’t the only reason for the growing emphasis on privacy and security.
More companies are expanding into foreign markets around the world. With these expansions comes the need to establish remote offices that are able to communicate with the home office, and transfer data and communications securely.
As the business world has become more data-driven in the face of increased competition from these expanding markets, companies are also recognizing the increased value of their data and protecting its security.
And with the growing reliance on Skype, Zoom, and other applications used in communicating during COVID lockdowns, certain flaws in the programs themselves, as well as the way they’re being used, have become apparent. This has inspired many entrepreneurs to make use of this new information to come up with marketable, simple, and efficient solutions to address the need for additional security and privacy in remote communications.
At True Digital Park, we keep our fingers on the pulse of new developments and trends in the technology world. We’ll look at the top three trends that address these realities in the ‘new normal’ way of conducting business worldwide in a digital environment.
Security is vital when conducting data processing between multiple parties or separate branches of a large corporation. Many companies are re-examining their security needs with this rapidly increasing transference of sensitive data over the internet.
Because of the focus on data as a valuable asset, developers have identified three technologies that can be combined to provide a solid level of privacy and security to data and computations. Together they are called privacy-enhancing computation.
The first part of the equation is the establishment of a trusted environment that provides security, even within the expanding world of hardware-trusted and third-party execution environments. As more companies out-source data processing and entrust sensitive and valuable information to consultants and independent contractors, this is paramount in creating a safe bubble of smaller firms and consultants that are all working for another, larger company.
The second technology deals with decentralized processing and computations through privacy-aware machine-learning that eases the workload and responsibilities of individuals. The third technology deals with encrypting and decrypting data before and after it is transferred to be processed or analyzed between remote parties.
The privacy needs of individuals conducting online transactions also fall within the realm of privacy-enhancing computation.
With many people working from home, the need for agile security applications that can provide safety, no matter where a company's employees are working, is vital.
The concept of a cybersecurity mesh provides flexible, blanket security for all employees working remotely on a cloud-based system. This concept of cybersecurity is being able to identify an individual from their device addresses and other identifiers. Once identified, the cybersecurity system is able to regulate their levels of security and apply them to all their transactions and computations within a cloud-based system.
The concept does away with individuals having to enter separate departments with different levels of security by entering a series of usernames and passwords. It provides a flexible, modular approach to the needs of an individual and permits perimeter security to be defined around the individual instead of the department or system.
As companies explore how to adopt increasingly sophisticated facial recognition into their processes, they focus on behavioral events like cash purchases, buying habits, device usage, etc., using facial recognition technology to influence these behaviors and habits. This is being called the Internet of Behaviors (Iob).
One of the creative phrases that have been coined to define these behaviors is the “digital dust” of daily life. This digital dust can consist of everything from the type of news stories a person likes to read online, to online buying habits. It can even come from sources such as the telematics in commercial vehicles that measure how aggressively or passively an individual drives. Social media accounts also provide a treasure trove of this type of data, as do public domain databases of facial recognition data.
In the COVID-19 era, IoB is also being used to enforce health regulations in public areas. The wearing of masks can be enforced by facial recognition technology. And the taking of people’s temperatures remotely by thermal imaging cameras has become a regular practice in public buildings.
However, the IoB is being eyed warily by many human rights supporters, as this technology has a high potential for abuse by governments and employers. Even companies that an individual willingly patronizes can use this information for less than altruistic purposes.
The ultimate adoption or rejection of this technology will largely depend on the privacy laws of individual countries around the world. The technology seems to fly in the face of the trend towards the right to privacy. You can expect some spirited discussions and possibly some restrictions to be imposed in the use of IoB by governments, employers, and commercial enterprises.