As junkies for data security, we here at TriDatum can’t get quite enough of the data security discussion that seems to be a continuously reappearing motif in the narrative of not only the data world, but the broader tech realm. To say that the publicized hacks over the past few years have been abundant would be an unjust understatement. From the seemingly endless sensationalism surrounding Snowden to the still days old political drama saga citing China as the potential culprit for our most recent high-profile national cybersecurity breach, the security of data and information systems has taken on a profoundly new existence. Transcending the finite technical aspects of cybersecurity, we are witnessing politicization in a way that has not presented itself before.
According to the Washington Post, “China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary.”
In an example noted by The Atlantic, four recent cases are cited:
“Hackers have stolen personal information from 83 million JPMorgan Chase accounts, 56 Home Depot payment cards, 110 million Target customer records, and 80 million accounts belonging to Anthem [U.S. health-insurance company].”
Based on an interview, The Atlantic proceeds to suggest that “Our information systems are attacked multiple times a day, every day.” And, “We spend 10 times more protecting ourselves from cyberattacks than we did three years ago. And despite that, we feel we are always a step behind our attackers”
A Verizon report on data breaches in the U.S. tells us that the main victims are the government, followed by financial services, information technology, and healthcare industries. Thus, the scale of threats that are now inherent to this data environment allow for an understanding of the inevitable politicization of information. Whether personal, federal, public, or sensitive, these cases simply tell a story. The manner in which this story is told is completely dependent upon who is in control of these massive quantities of powerful information that we have created. So who is in control of your information? Who are these “hackers” really? And, what are the risks of failed cybersecurity? All questions we are slowly uncovering the answers to, yes. However, keep a careful eye out in order to truly grasp the dynamics that dictate how your individual, personal information plays an important role in the everyday narrative of politics, finance, and industry in general. Because as minute as your role may appear in this environment driven by data, collectively our information is what drives the world. Your data matters.