Data breaches no longer “just a statistic”

Man typing on computer with locks unlocked

There have been calls to transform the approach to cyber security and data breaches to recognise their real impact on real people, as cyber attacks continue to grow more sophisticated, according to Brian Grant.

The concerns were voiced by Thales’ Australia and New Zealand Director to attendees at FST Media’s Future of Security, Sydney conference at the Hilton Hotel earlier this month, after it was found that more people than ever had been subject to cyber-attacks because of increased hybrid working environments and digitisation.

“When we make mistakes with data and we let it leak, get exposed or get stolen, it’s not a statistic,” Grant said.

“It impacts real people. Your organisations are typically collecting data on you, me, your friends and loved ones. When we let that data be shared with someone who shouldn’t have it, we’re hurting real people.

“We have to stop talking about it as a statistic… If we [protect data] well, people stop getting hurt.”

Grant also said the rapid take-up of hybrid working environments between offices and homes has allowed data to become more available and accessible even to individuals with malicious intentions.

“As we digitise, cybersecurity incidents haven’t flattened – which should reflect excellent execution on our part. They’ve continued to grow,” he told event attendees.

“The world has changed radically, even in the last decade. But our approach to cybersecurity hasn’t changed that much. All we have done is reinvented the same thing.

“We have shifted a lot of the responsibility to third-party providers or cloud providers. But there’s a shared responsibility, where the cloud providers complete their services well and the organisation handles the data.

“We have to defend what counts – the data and digital systems. Sun Tzu talks about not defending open ground, and there’s nothing more open today than the internet in everyone’s pocket. Defending that ground is very expensive to do it properly.”