In the Age of Cyber-Information Warfare, Protecting Human Rights

cyber security

Disinformation is undermining technology’s infinite ability to benefit industries, enterprises, and societies.

In today’s world, there isn’t a debate that doesn’t mention “fake news” and its potential to mislead critical dialogue about events like elections and current events around the world.

When you add in the fact that in the age of ‘surveillance capitalism,’ the concept of privacy is constantly being redefined, it’s a literal minefield out there when it comes to protecting our records.

In light of this, data protection and cybersecurity technology are becoming increasingly important in protecting the dignity of our human rights in the face of cyber information warfare. Businesses, on the other hand, must ensure that they use data in an ethical, compliant, and safe manner.

Data Protection Day is an opportunity to learn about some of the cutting-edge technology in the battle against cyber (dis)information, as well as how companies can protect our rights as workers, customers, and people.

Data protection as a human right

Some people are unaware that data security is a human right. This is why we celebrate Data Protection Day in Europe, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data this year.

Or, to put it another way, Convention 108: the treaty that gave birth to the first European Union-wide data protection regulations, which are now protected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Despite the major financial and reputational consequences of failing to uphold this fundamental human right, data security, or rather the lack thereof, continues to dominate the news.

Data protection and cybersecurity tools, fortunately, are working to improve this.

Technology: a vital weapon in the fight against cyber information warfare

Much has been written about technology’s position in disseminating misinformation and inciting cyber information warfare. But, even more importantly, it is our most powerful tool in the war against cybercriminals.

This is especially true in terms of its position as a protector against a favourite weapon of cybercriminals. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files and other data. It is one of the most difficult and persistent challenges that companies in all sectors and geographies face.

Typically, ransomware is used by attackers to extort money. However, several attacks look for records as well as output and backup data. By encrypting those as well, the attack forces businesses to comply with cybercriminals’ demands.

According to the 2019 Veeam Ransomware Report, the global cost of ransomware harm is estimated to exceed $20 billion (USD) by the end of 2021. But the countless human rights abuses are becoming more harmful, as ransomware attackers increasingly threaten to leak stolen data.

To tackle this – and the rising threats of cybercriminals cooperating – technology must form its own armies and alliances, such as Veeam’s ransomware security alliance with Cisco, AWS, Lenovo, HP, and Cloudian.

However, cybercriminals are still searching for fresh and creative ways to steal data, and companies haven’t been the only ones speeding up their digital transformation since the start of COVID-19, with cyberattacks on cloud networks rising by 250 percent from 2019 to 2020.

As a result, it’s more critical than ever to collaborate with technology partners who prioritise not just today’s data storage needs, but also tomorrow’s cloud and protection solutions – all while staying one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Using data ethically, compliantly and securely

Businesses have a greater obligation than ever before to use data ethically, compliantly, and safely in the digital age. This isn’t a nice-to-have or something that’s high on a company’s priority list. It is a fundamental human right!

However, by taking a casual approach to data protection, too many companies are unwittingly helping cybercriminals’ efforts. According to a recent report, Mohamed al-Kuwaiti, the head of UAE Government Cyber Security, the Middle East is facing a “cyber pandemic,” with Covid-19-related attacks expected to skyrocket in 2020. During the first half of 2020, Trend Micro reported over 50 million cyber-attacks in the GCC zone.

Fines and harm to one’s reputation are, of course, deterrents. However, there are still far too many data breaches, and companies must do more to improve data security. Technology is once again a crucial enabler in this regard.

Find a solution that ensures data protection, enforcement, and consumer privacy standards are met, regardless of the company’s size. Don’t just take a vendor’s word for it that their solutions are safe; read consumer testimonials, perform analysis, and seek guidance from credible reward organisations.

Maintaining customer confidence will be a top priority in the coming year – after all, there’s enough going on in the world for them to be concerned about the safety of their data.

As a result, putting your faith in the right technologies will help protect our human rights while still making significant progress in the fight against cybercriminals.

Melina Richardson
Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.