Cyber security in 2023: Insights from leaders on how to keep secure
We asked security professionals and leaders from the sector for their insight into changes from the last decade they believe will continue to impact the future of security. Three responders focussed on cyber security in 2023 and how to keep secure:
Michelle Kradolfer – Technical Officer at Police CPI
Reliance on Internet of Things (IoT)
Life and business in the 21st century is increasingly reliant on being connected to the internet, with the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape developing drastically over the last decade. The number of internet- connected devices across the world has increased to 35 billion and that number is going to be rising even more in the next couple of years – I think the prediction is 75 billion by 2025. More people are buying more devices and more things have become smart –whether it is a doorbell, smart lock, lightbulb, voice assistant (Alexa, Siri), everything connected to the internet falls under this category.
However, with this increase in the number of IoT products available and a growing ecosystem of interconnected devices, cyber criminals are targeting and exploiting hidden vulnerabilities within products and apps, as most are mass-produced without security being at the forefront. Typically, they’re built for convenience.
The government published the Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security in 2018, which was developed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and sets a benchmark of best practice for manufacturers to follow when developing IoT products for the UK market. With government introducing further legislation where three of the principles of the Code of Practice are included, it’s important that producers of such products consider security technology and support the government’s plan to help manufacturers develop safe IoT products that consumers can use with confidence.
Without the appropriate levels of security, any internet-connected device or app is at risk of providing cyber criminals with the ‘key’ in accessing and stealing personal data. Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that all IoT products have the right security in place to protect consumers and reduce the risk of them falling victim to cyber crime.
Jane Gyford – Deputy Chief Constable Cambridgeshire Constabulary
The last ten years has seen the growth of generations Y and X, from children, teenagers and into adulthood. They are becoming the new generation in our workforces and societies, our go-to innovators and the future of everything that we hold dear. Generation Z typically have not been so focused on social media because it is not a new concept to them; instead it is an ambient part of everyday life, though often their relationships are not built online, but through closer workplace and friendship circles. They have a strong sense of self value and compelling views and solutions on global issues.
Generations Y and Z make up over 50% of the population, yet we, the older working generations (Gen X), are still finding it difficult to build the communication gap, create opportunities to impart knowledge across generations, and seek ways from our younger generations of seeing the societies we live in.
William Gibson once quoted “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” We need to remember that international influence and opportunities have not yet impacted those parts of the world that are yet to experience the second and third Industrial Revolutions. Other parts are so advanced that the security sector needs to be an established pioneer to influence new workforces and digital advancement. Cyberspace is an opportunity for many, but also can be a perceived threat.
Utilising generational diversity to our advantage is an obvious and simple solution to build a safer future. Empowering people for their skills at all ages and showing how they can complement each other and not conflict against one another, preventing fragmentation and ultimately social unrest, instability and societal disconnect, is a brilliant dividend to aspire for.
There are many opportunities to bring generations together, to build on learnt experiences and develop new thinking, appreciating that today’s perceptions and lived experiences of my generation are not necessarily featuring in the future, including in policing spheres. We would be foolish not to pass on our lessons learned, and foolish in turn not to listen to the younger workforce, as between us all, we hold the answers to the future as we evolve with the digital world.
James Thomson – Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board
Protecting ourselves from the cyber threat
We are all aware of the growing threat of cyber crime as more and more of our daily life is conducted online. We recognise this threat and are taking practical action to tackle it.
As Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, I hold the City of London Police to account for their role in leading the policing response to cyber crime.
There are a number of opportunities for all of us to play our part in protecting ourselves and our businesses from the cyber threat.
Firms can sign up to Police Cyber Alarm – an award-winning free tool, provided by local police forces to help businesses monitor and report the suspicious cyber activity they face.
Since it launched, the platform has identified over a billion suspicious events resulting in reports and advice being given to members, enabling them to take action to prevent a successful attack.
And last month we helped launch the London Cyber Resilience Centre. The new body is part of a network of nine UK regional centres which helps SMEs reduce their vulnerability to cyber-crime. It is a police-led, not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the City of London Police, the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police.
There are also opportunities for larger organisations to join the National Cyber Resilience Centre Group as an Ambassador, contributing their expertise and access to their commercial networks. The more businesses we can protect, the stronger our whole economy will be.
The City of London Corporation, in partnership with the City of London Police, will also be launching a new Cyber Innovation Challenge in early 2023 – an opportunity for technology companies to grapple with some key policing challenges and develop an innovative solution to further reduce the impact of cyber-crime on our economy.
The threat is very real, but there are some simple steps we can all take to improve our resilience and I would urge you to seize these opportunities to better protect yourself, your business, and your clients.
Look out for other insights into 2023 in these key areas:
- The growing importance of partnership and collaboration
- achieving a resilent approach to security
- digital transformation
- the increasing use of intelligence, and
- security standards