Home / Cybersecurity / My view: Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility for all of us – Deseret News

My view: Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility for all of us – Deseret News

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But it’s not the large-scale cyberattacks that debilitate us. The most urgent hazard of cyber insecurity may be the resulting economic loss of crimes perpetrated against the private sector and consumers.

Utah is a state for innovation. Our technological community has been a major component of economic growth and development in the state, heightening our quality of life and garnering national recognition.

As one of the best states for business, our companies recognize that today’s business model necessitates innovation to take advantage of an increasingly connected world. However, with innovation comes risk.

While risk management is a part of everyday life, the riskiness of innovation depends on the approach. In adapting to our high-tech society, we tend to embrace the convenience of technology at the expense of security.

We confront criminals and lone actors targeting our computer networks and critical infrastructure, stealing proprietary information from our businesses, and violating the privacy of internet users. Despite its relevance, and because there is no silver-bullet solution, government, businesses and citizens have all struggled with how to respond to cyberattacks.

Today, we read headlines of high-profile breaches of Fortune 500 companies. Even Utah has faced a data breach that compromised the personal information of over 750,000 Medicaid recipients. Each of these incidents hurts the integrity of our digital infrastructure and its users.

Our dependence on technology makes cyber threats difficult to tackle. Ultimately, a cyberattack has the potential to disable air traffic controllers, electronically regulated railroads, mail, financial records, health records, electric power, heat, oil refineries, traffic signals, water supply, telephones, internet service and police protection — and the list goes on.

But it’s not the large-scale cyberattacks that debilitate us. The most urgent hazard of cyber insecurity may be the resulting economic loss of crimes perpetrated against the private sector and consumers.

Inevitably, the risks posed by our cyber insecurity must be addressed by our business leaders and our policymakers. Put simply for business: If you collect it you must protect it. Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem, it’s an organizational problem. And more and more small and medium-size businesses are targeted because they lack the resources to adequately defend themselves. No matter the size of your organization, cyberattacks hurt. The financial burden, loss of customer trust and hassle of data recovery are bad for any business.

The same action must be taken by our government to improve our overall cybersecurity. So far, the state has made efforts through the Department of Public Safety to curb cyber crime, and the state’s Department of Technology has enhanced security protocols. At the federal level, we’ve seen efforts to collaborate with the private sector through the passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act and the establishment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. However, more can be done with our cybersecurity frameworks, regulations and information sharing.


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The solutions aren’t easy. In our increasingly digital society, we must all be vigilant of the threats created by innovation. Our cybersecurity posture involves not only the technology used to combat threats but also the people and processes that keep our systems safe. With this in mind, Utah’s business community has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host the 2017 Cybersecurity Conference bringing together local and national experts to discuss the importance of cybersecurity in our businesses, our government and our daily lives.

The internet has always served as a channel for economic growth, but its potential vulnerabilities could lead to economic paralysis. The cybersecurity of organizations, governments and individuals alike is a shared risk and ultimately a shared responsibility.

Lane Beattie is president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. Ann Beauchesne is senior vice president, National Security & Emergency Preparedness Department, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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