Which should concern us more: lack of privacy or lack of resilience?

The rash of stories about state surveillance and cyberbullying have served to conceal a series of stories about major system failures over the past fortnight affecting global players like Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. At a lesser level we see stories of those who have lost their back up files, not just what was on their phone, when it was lost or stolen. Meanwhile the hype for Big Data, Cloud Computing and Digital by Default continues. How many of you have been caught out by ATM crashes and carry larger cash floats (and are therefore worth mugging for more than your phone) than five years ago?

We are coming up to the public deadline for the competition for masters dissertations on how to improve trust and confidence in the on-line world and I look forward to taking a look at the twenty five entries that I am told have been registered to date – as well as those expected next week, just before the deadline. The Rt Hon David Blunkett, patron of the competition (and once one of the UK’s most impersonated individuals) has just confirmed the quote he is happy to have used when we do a press release covering the entries to date and any arrangements we make for for late entries, before we proceeed to the judging.

I personally do not believe that confidence is helped by those fighting to preserve the status quo with regard to unvalidated domain names such as .uk , those who equate e-crime strategies with spending more on “awareness” (alias scareware promotion) campaigns instead of on improving reporting, victim support, investigation and “response” routines or those who call for “digital by default”, without addressing the reasons why the drive on-line has faltered. It is nearly five years since I classified the various “privacy enhancing technologies” ad their suppliers into: “Yappy puppies, silent killers, piranha fish, bloodhounds, wolf packs, horses for courses and friends for life”. The threats have moved on. Unfortunately much of the response has not.

I look forward to hearing what the “thought leaders of the future” have to say.       

In the mean time, I am polishing a script for a workshop for main board directors in early September in which I will say why information security should treated as core component of marketing strategy and brand management – not a “mere” adjunct to data protection and regulatory “compliance”. Those who want more of their current and potential customers to do more (value as well as volume) business with them on-line really must “wake up and smell the coffee”. That means looking through the other end of the telescope.

I will blog on the script and response afterwards