A new world of opportunity and convenience has opened up. But that said, so has the need for security over that greatly expanded surface. With Clavister underpinning their operations as the security choice, they feel confident that they’re helping their customers understand how critical it is to have great cyber security.
The new battlefield – be that business or governments – isn’t physical but a cyber one. As attacks to our critical infrastructure with real life consequences fill the global news daily, it’s imperative that leaders take action…
To many, the world has become a more chaotic and dangerous place, filled with state conflict, terrorism, climate issues and economic uncertainty. And while that is undoubtedly true, there is a threat that we’re just coming to terms with, that we’re just coming to realise is one of the greatest threats we face as a society. John Clapper, the director of the CIA, puts the topic at the top of the threat list – above terrorism, espionage and weapons of mass destruction. IBM Corp.’s Chairman, CEO and President, Ginni Rometty calls it the greattest global danger to commerce and companies. The World Economic Forum puts it squarely on its top ten list of global calamities after WMD and before water crisis as the planet’s most important issue to address. Cyber security and protection – with attacks against critical infrastructure, be that the electrical grid, causing a nuclear plant to meltdown or a hydropower station to open gates and flood towns and cities the most serious. But as well commercial cyber crimes of ransomware being as debilitating – is on every decision makters and business owner’s mind. Consider: the cost of cyber extortion and data loss is estimated at $445 billion per year, a full 1% of global income; half a million cyber attacks a minute; state sponsored cyber battalions engage in cold war in cyberspace. Protecting their infrastructure has become a critical mission for so many stakeholders.
Proactive, Not Reactive
John Vestberg, CTO and Product Manager of Clavister AB, and Sam Coleman, Content Manager and in-house editor of DeCrypted News, are at the front line of this challenge in a society that is slowly beginning to wake up to this virtual threat. “The first thing a company needs to do is to have someone from management who really cares about security. The issue is much larger than simply prohibiting employees from clicking on links and banned surfing during working hours. It’s enough that a company goes offline for a few hours; the reputation and revenue lost are a compelling enough case for real attention to the issue,” Vestberg states, a co-founder of the company and one who’s sat across the table from CEOs and ministers to explain the case for protecting their data and their customers. “But we take it further as we believe that – especially after what came to light with Snowden – having no back doors in the operating code as Clavister products do – is a fundamental feature as well as all the necessary performance features. But the understanding of how serious the threats can be, especially to critical infrastructure, that’s what we really want to communicate forcefully and that having robust protection is absolutely necessary,” Vestberg says with Coleman concurring. “Cyber security is a burning hot and important issue for everyone, it’s starting to get more and more news coverage as it should,” says Coleman. “The latest Dyn attack, a nuclear power plant hacked in Germany, almost a billion personal details stolen from Yahoo for identity fraud and countless attacks on business be it ransomware, DDoS or data theft is just the headlines we see and live through. Increasingly, we see a major shift occurring…and often it’s in the palm of our hands.”
The Threat Surface Explodes
We all know that the Internet and the web have become a major part of our lives be that personally, socially and professionally. We bank online, book our flights, access government services and engage with friends. Our work life is dominated by the cyber: most of us work on laptops and terminals, through company networks. Not just daily, but by the minute.
But increasingly, all of that activity has moved to the mobile realm; people are using devices and phones for their daily work and lifestyle needs. Cisco VNI forecast states the following: “By 2020, wired devices will account for 34 percent of IP traffic, and Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 66 percent of IP traffic. In 2015, wired devices accounted for the majority of IP traffic, at 52 percent.” In other words, mobile computing is outstripping desktop computing at an incredible rate. Add to this equation that IoT devices are exploding – smart refrigerators, TVs, cars, cameras, homes – and expected to grow from 4.8 – 6.5 billion devices to 20 – 38 billion – and it’s clear that a new world of opportunity and convenience has opened up. But that said, so has the need for security over that greatly expanded surface. “The recent Dyn attack that basically used IoT devices to launch DDoS attacks, the proliferation of BYOD into business environments, which create a whole plethora of intrusion points into business environments, have created an incredible demand to A) have telecom solutions to network security and B) of the need to use Identity Access Management and specifically multi-factor authentication to guard against identity theft and network intrusion,” says Clavister CEO and VP of Sales Jim Carlsson. “We’re very excited about this challenge because we’ve got some incredibly strong solutions for the telecom industry that we’ve been working on for several years as well as our IAM company that’s been brought into the Clavister family, PhenixID, which we feel will protect our customers and in turn their users,” he explains optimistically. “With Clavister underpinning their operations as the security choice, we feel confident that we’re helping our customers understand how critical it is to have great cybersecurity, be they enterprise or our new telecom partners, and how that’s a fundamental business choice.”