Should Technology be Trusted?

Information.jpgThe computing technology market is entering a turning point for change.  The need for TRUST.  Cybersecurity is about making computing technology and services secure.  Trust is an important yet still under recognized component.  Times are changing and the value of trust is rising.

Recently the government of China, the world’s largest emerging market for technology, banned mainstream hardware, operating systems, and security software from government use.  With the predominance of companies in the country being government owned, it is likely they too will consider such recommendations.

The United States, Russia, and other countries have done so in the past on occasion.  Other nations and regions may follow suit in the practice of forbidding the governmental use of products they determine untrustworthy.  Such announcements influence the commercial and consumer communities and can sway decisions to voluntarily adopt the same practices.  This trend will continue to increase and force technology providers to rethink the value of trustworthy products in the global marketplace.  Trust will become an important competitive advantage.

Such actions have a serious economic effect, both on individual companies as well as the entire technology sector.  Cisco indicated an expected 10% drop in quarterly revenue due in part from privacy issues related to the Snowden affair.  This is being coined the “Snowden effect” by many.  The repercussions can be felt in large contract negotiations as well, with Verizon and Boeing being two recent examples in the news. It has been estimated privacy issues alone may account for a 4% slowdown in the growth of US technology services industry.  But the concept of trust reaches much farther and deeper.  The World Economic Forum estimates a $3 trillion aggregate economic impact of cybersecurity on technology trends through 2020.  Security issues drag against the sale, adoption, and sustainment of systems, solutions, and services, thus impacting the innovation investment in those technology sectors.  It is a chain reaction which can slow the worldwide digital revolution juggernaut that is enriching the lives of almost every person on the planet.

Some might call these events as isolated or place blame on a few companies or even a single person.  But the truth is we are all to blame.  The same cycle has played out over time in other sectors.  Early adoption of new technology products and services has typically expanded to include greater expectations for quality and reliance.  This is part of the normal evolution of end-user perspectives.  Cars, planes, televisions, operating systems, high-speed Internet connections, and cellular service are all examples where over time the security, reliance, quality, and safety expectations emerged well after the initial wave to obtain the latest revolutionary gadgets.  The swoon of adoption gives way to practical considerations as customers eventually realize possessing the newest technology or services is not enough.  Trust in the secure reliability, service levels, and safety is an important competitive element which cannot be overlooked.

Cybersecurity is the protection of computing capabilities and is beginning this transition to drive trust into the high technology marketplace.  Ranging from governments or consumers, we are at the point when suppliers and security organizations must commit more focus to bolster the confidence of their products and services, including hardware, firmware, operating systems, applications, and services.  The value of trust is too great and the consequences are potentially devastating.  Security issues, if left unchecked, will impede the health, innovation, and adoption of the greater compute technology industry.  There is no going back.  The concepts of Trust will surely rise, as it is a necessary growing pain to a stronger, more healthy, and sustainable electronic ecosystem we all rely upon.

- Matt

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Matthew Rosenquist

About Matthew Rosenquist

Matthew Rosenquist is a Cybersecurity Strategist for Intel Corp and benefits from 20+ years in the field of security. He specializes in strategy, measuring value, and developing cost effective capabilities and organizations which deliver optimal levels of security. Matthew helped with the formation of the Intel Security Group, an industry leading organization bringing together security across hardware, firmware, software and services. An outspoken advocate of cybersecurity, he strives to advance the industry and his guidance can be heard at conferences, and found in whitepapers, articles, and blogs.