TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE
“I love technology,” an industry veteran whispered to me during an online e-commerce conference keynote and, of course, I get his point. Smart IT in this digital economy is exciting.
The trouble is far too many tech-related moving parts are set to hit mainstream in the coming months. That’s if the marketing folks are to be believed.
Also, in the light of recent scary headline cybersecurity incidents, it’s probably wise not to blindly accept all things technological in 2021. No matter how digitally dynamic they might seem and lifesaving for your business.
Tucked almost out of sight of the double-whammy pandemic and political posturing surrounding Brexit, was the tale of a US nuclear weapons agency struck by a cyberattack. Specifically, the National Nuclear Security Administration. Apparently it’s the Ruskies who are to blame. Again.
That’s right NUCLEAR. You know, end of the world stuff. Right under the noses, in plain sight, if you like, of the planet’s self-appointed peacekeepers, and with enough to leave any sensible person with a distinct feeling of ill ease about the way ahead.
Call me superstitious, but with a trigger-happy Trump still hanging about the White House, it does make one wonder if hitching an Elon Musk ride to the Moon might not be far enough away.
Add to the mix the next wave of the virus upon all of us and the safest bet might well be the Red Planet.
McAfee internet security folks report online criminal activity now tops $1 trillion annually. Running the numbers this represents one per cent of global GDP, a statistic rising daily.
Actually, it doesn’t matter what fancy tech is implemented into a business with the earnest hope of coming out of the pandemic unscathed.
Yes, of course the marketeers will have us believe that to succeed this means embracing an exhaustive digital list.
Of the year ahead even Forbes falls for their line, exclaiming: “The technology trends.. everyone must get Ready for Now.”
If we take a minute to examine the list…. Well, actually, it’ll take longer than that as, according to practically every tech-related press release I’ve received of late, every gadget appears to be hitting mainstream – the “in” phrase at the moment.
Some you’ll already know: fintech 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics and drones, Cloud technologies, and on to the more obscure like digital operations data platforms, anything As a Service, quantum computing, machine learning.
Add new “exotic” roles reports the Harvey Nash/KPMG 2020 CIO survey. Would you believe *chatbot manager”, “robot overlord”, and “omniskilled technocrat.”
Seriously though, you can implement all the tech in the world. Unless a clear and thorough cybersecurity policy is built into an organisation’s DNA from the get-go, then most of it will be a complete waste of time.
As SecureWorks puts it: cybersecurity programs can still thrive with a limited budget and resources if an organisation prioritises investment based on where the greatest risk to a business lies.
In a nutshell this requires addressing strategic security concerns; identifying most common causes of weak security; and implementing low-resource methods for improving your security. Don’t hesitate to bring in cost-effective outside help where needed.
Sophos warns that far too many cloud services on offer continue to leave “back doors” open, ripe for a cyberattack that can completely wipe out an organisation. Irrespective of its size.
Ciaran Martin, new board member at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, says challenges around security tech are getting increasingly complex.
The former chief executive of the UK National Cyber Security Centre warns us all to guard against a rising tide of cyber scams targeting pandemic fears.
DIGIT highlights a view common to cybersecurity specialists, intelligence officers and policymakers that the worst an online attack could lead to is a nuclear strike.
Martin told the site he is doubtful about this and while such concerns remain valid, the reality is more likely to produce “long-term, lingering issues” rather than a sudden cataclysm.
More a war of attrition than all-out conflict. So, no need to board that SpaceX rocket to Mars. Not just yet anyway…