[Guest] Why every CEO should worry about the security of his digital assets?

Online frauds, hacking into databases of companies to steal information and fraudulent transfer of funds/securities are just some of the categories of risks under the broad heading of ‘cyber crime’.

Some of the biggest names in the industry too have been victims of cyber crime. eBay recently revealed that cyber criminals had accessed personal details, including passwords, of 145 million customers. Large technology companies, including Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Facebook, the New York Times, Apple, and many more too have been ‘victims’ to hacking scandals and cyber-attacks. And of course, several banks and financial institutions face regular attacks from cyber criminals.

In fact, large companies are not the only targets of cyber attacks. They happen to smaller companies as well. Just that they don’t get reported as much, and worse, often are not even detected because of poor systems in tracking and managing digital information. In times where most businesses are moving to the cloud, each CEO must necessarily ensure that this “property on the cloud” is well protected. After all if his business works on these assets, they need to be secured.

However, the problem is that as security technologies evolve, so do cyber criminals. They up their competencies, often forging ahead of the prevalent protection technologies and solutions. After all, some of the cyber criminals are some of the sharpest, though misguided technology brains.

Security solutions cannot be passive. They have to be proactive.

In a climate of persistent and technologically evolving threat to digital assets, companies are now talking about proactive and context-aware intelligence to monitor digital assets, and prevent cyber crimes. An example of context aware intelligence would be alerting the user if concurrent log-ins to his account were to take place from two very different geographies.

Proactive, dynamic, device & platform agnostic cyber security solutions are a necessity in today’s business environment of mobile computing, cloud computing, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and social computing.

Companies face a challenge in balancing convenience and security

A common concern for every business is how to bridge the security gaps and vulnerabilities that arise from the implementation of emerging technologies. Every new addition to a technology stack, or indeed every new device, hardware or software could render existing implementations vulnerable.

Another challenge is that, just like at airports, every additional layer or process of security means an increase in inconvenience. Access cards, fingerprints, passwords, OTPs, two-step-authentication, etc. all add to inconvenience and increase of transaction time.

Biometrics can be a good ‘safety-belt’ for cyber security

Because biometric technologies provide unmatched, and relatively convenient way of accurate authentication of an individual’s identity, they offer an optimal solution.

By identifying an individual on the basis of unique characteristic that comprises fingerprints, iris recognition, hand geometry and facial characteristics, voice, etc., an organization can dramatically improve its access control, and thereby make its digital assets more secure.

Biometrics do not add any token or credential. Unlike cards, dongles and phones, they do not need any additional device to be carried by the user. This dramatically reduces misuse of the credential. The added advantage of biometrics technology is that it can be used across all digital channels — online, mobile and social — and is capable of becoming a new safety belt for the industry as a whole.

For businesses, getting biometrics technology right across various parts of the organization will be imperative for competitive advantage.

About the author: Sanjeev Shriya is the founder of Smart Chip – a biometrics, smart card and digital securities company. He has over 20 years of experience in the Telecommunications, Wireless and Technology space.

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