Cybersecurity: A Global Economic Security Crisis
I recently developed an 87 slide Market Insight titled "Cybersecurity: A Global Economic Security Crisis" (9856-14) for our Network Security Research Practice that is available to Frost & Sullivan subscribers. In that market insight, there is a chapter titled "Identity Theft: Individuals Today-Organizations Tomorrow," which came to mind after I received an email from the New York Times along with another 8.6 million subscribers (email image attached). Although the company claims that the email was sent by mistake (second email image also attached), it still caused a lot of distress among NYT customers that thought their subscriptions were going to be canceled.
This situation is something that the NYT would like everyone to quickly put behind them, but ever since speaking with executives that specialize in cybersecurity issues, odd emails and social media messages tend to stick in my mind. An excerpt from my Market Insight explains why:
- Cybersecurity professionals believe that the next step in the evolution of identity theft will target organizations so criminals can use the identity of companies and government agencies for illicit gain.
- In fact, identity theft in its current form is just the start of a series of attacks that will target vulnerabilities created over many years and as the threat evolves, the viability of organizations will be at risk.
- It is believed that hackers will be able to damage an individual’s cyber footprints so extensively that legacy IT systems won’t be able to tell the difference between the real person and the stolen identity.
- This means that eventually a stolen identity will be unrecoverable, which some in the cybersecurity community refer to as individual obliteration.
- Individual obliteration will be a real concern for individuals as well as organizations as techniques evolve over the next 5 years
Fortunately for everyone, the NYT email was not a case of email hacking, phishing, or the beginnings of individual obliteration that could have generated false news stories, a 21st century Orson Welles-like uproar, and stock price swings that cyber criminals could benefit from.
The unfortunate fact however, is that there are significant cybersecurity issues facing private enterprise and governments today that is damaging developed economies and changing the global economic landscape. Cyber espionage targeted at industry and governments is believed to be responsible for the largest shift in wealth in the history of the world, yet few people are aware that it is happening. This one of many reasons why Frost & Sullivan's Information and Communication Technologies Consulting Practice and the Frost & Sullivan Network Security Research Practice have teamed up to provide a closer look at cybersecurity issues in Q4 2011 and will continue to provide analysis and commentary in 2012.