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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: Trust and Security

The Internet is the Autobahn for Digital. And if you’ve ever driven on the Autobahn, you know that it can be a daunting—even dangerous—stretch of road to navigate. The same can be said of the Internet. The security state of the Internet is fragile, and it is up to companies and employees to take control. Digital raises your profile, raises your risk, and requires new techniques to build, earn, and keep trust.

From governments to healthcare providers to employers, all of our valuable and highly confidential data floats around behind firewalls, hidden in the Deep Web.

On the Public Web, millions of people access their personal data every day. Transactions are made and money is exchanged—but how safe is the Internet?

I recently read in the Financial Times that customer data at a large telco was breached in the process flow between themselves and a credit check company as credit checks were completed on phone purchases. And some “bad actor” had been breaching this data for years. Wow.

It’s not the Internet that’s not safe, it’s the businesses that protect information that are not safe. Our economy is online, and companies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. If trust breaks down on the Internet, then the Internet as an economic platform will collapse.

The list of casualties grows every day, with big names falling victim to cyber breaches. The attacks are becoming more sophisticated and harder to trace. And they’re becoming more frequent.

You need to assume you are under attack every day, that the bad guys are on your network, and that other nation states may not share your integrity.

Ultimately, you need to build a moat around your most important systems.

Most companies forget that security is all about “back to basics”. Employees must be educated. Hardware and software should be up to date. And your perimeter needs to be defined and protected.

When it is a trusted environment, the Web is one of the most significant platforms for innovation in the field of technology today. I’ll explore “Experimentation at Scale” in my next post in this series.

For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's CEO & CTO. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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