Indiana
Lee
Journalist

The Future of Cybersecurity: International Data Collection

Cybersecurity

Right now, the world is experiencing an increase in cybersecurity threats in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the FBI, cybercrime rose around 400% at its pandemic peak. At the same time, our digital systems and connectivity have become more essential than ever in securing global trade.

But despite the heightened threat, our cybersecurity infrastructures are moving towards more secure systems and practices. This is the result of technological innovations and a growing economy of skilled professionals from around the world, all making international data collection and application safer and more efficient.

Achieving a secure future, however, will require an understanding of the technology and changing policies in the world of global data. Here’s what you should know about the future of cybersecurity and international data collection.

Decentralized Data Communication

The future looks bright for international data communication of all kinds. With the power of technologies like machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all operating with 5G wireless connectivity, our virtual world is shrinking.

Much like how air travel changed the way we view physical distance, the next generation of cybersecurity tech will allow for a shrinking of the distance between our digital economies. Among the innovations making this possible are decentralized cloud databases and communication systems that can remain secured within individual cryptographic notes. Additionally, data collection and analysis can now take place from simple algorithmic functions passed through de-identification processes.

But these advancements are just a preview of what the future of cybersecurity may look like when it comes to international data collection and communication. The following essential cybersecurity innovations will power the future and how we navigate global digital ecosystems:

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence technology that allows a computer system to complete tasks without being explicitly programmed to do so. In essence, this means a computer system that learns based on data input—not unlike the sentient computer from War Games

However, these systems are being used for much more innocuous purposes in the modern market. For example, machine learning is now being integrated into cybersecurity software that looks for and protects against unauthorized network access.

DarkTrace, for example, implements Cyber AI to understand a digital environment. This machine learning process models normalcy within a network and analyzes the entirety of a system to find anomalies. Then, the AI can respond appropriately and learn from the attempted attack.

This demonstrates how cybersecurity networks of the future will have the capacity to operate within and across international systems. As a result, we will be better prepared to protect against unauthorized international data collection and improve commercial data communication. 

Blockchain

A blockchain system is a decentralized database in which each data point is stored within its own uniquely encrypted node. To tamper with a data system like this, a hacker would have to have enough computational power to decrypt the entire chain. This gives a blockchain system a unique defensive advantage.

These systems have the added benefit of being open for use in a global marketplace. No matter where a user is, they can securely access their specific data through personalized access keys. Since the system runs through an open-source network, users are also given greater privacy from third-party regulators.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to indicate the many, now-common devices that integrate on an online network. From smart refrigerators to industrial sensors and monitoring systems, IoT devices are already collecting data at a completely unprecedented scale. In turn, big data insights are empowering decision-making across industries. 

As a result, we are seeing more seamless international data collection through devices like wearables, smartphone apps, and smart home systems. But such widespread data accumulation presents cybersecurity concerns. The further IoT tech advances, the more access points will present themselves to hackers. 

The future of cybersecurity will require more efficient protections for all IoT devices. But achieving widespread device security will take analysis, effort, and coordination. This process will likely require standardized international regulations.

Standardized International Measures

Facing the dangers of the modern virtual environment, all kinds of web applications must prevent security vulnerabilities. In their efforts to encourage just that, governments across the world—both separately and in coordination—are taking a closer look at international data collection processes.

Already, this is leading to regulatory legislation that could ultimately change international data communication standards in the future. Here are some examples:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Instituted in 2016 throughout the European Union, the GDPR mandates standards and breach reporting protocols for businesses. These standards have largely seen global adoption, as the global economy requires compliance with trade partner regulations.

Fortunately, the mandates of the GDPR are common-sense and achievable, as long as your data protection efforts are well documented. Provisions of the GDPR include:

  • Data leaks must be reported to affected parties with 72 hours of discovery.
  • Data processing must be fair, legal, and transparent.
  • Integrity and confidentiality of stored data must be maintained.

Following these standards is only necessary when directly dealing with customers and clients within the EU, but these provisions serve as excellent guidelines for international data collection in any region. 

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard

Meanwhile, for any branded credit card across the world, the mandates of the PCI Data Security Standard must be followed. This means maintaining security practices like the following to reduce the chances of fraud:

  • Network security must be maintained.
  • Regular security tests must be conducted.
  • User access and data must be regulated. 

While limited to credit card companies and electronic transaction processors, these global regulations could illustrate the future for systems like blockchain. Since cryptocurrency is currently traded within these networks, similar standards and regulatory oversight could come to this minimally regulated economy. This could impact the way we communicate data on an international basis.

With tighter regulations, cybersecurity across all kinds of virtual systems and digital transaction methods might improve. Standardized conditions could reduce the access points that hackers currently take advantage of. This may be essential in a world in which many international workers are increasingly working out of their homes.

On the other hand, tighter regulations attempted on an international level could needlessly complicate the market and increase barriers of entry. Right now, transactions over blockchain typically come without any kind of processing fee or governmental oversight. International coordination of regulatory practices could change that in the future.

All told, international data collection is a complicated situation. Regardless of whether or not enhanced regulations and standards emerge at an international level, we will first have to ensure that enough IT security experts are around to make broader regulations possible. 

The Growing Need for Experts

Cybersecurity is a constantly growing field. The need for experts in data security, auditing, and security planning only increases as our world becomes more and more interconnected. Globally, this need is outpacing the level at which we produce enough skilled professionals. An estimated 3.5 million positions in cybersecurity may go unfilled. 

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While some regions have more success than others, the world can always benefit from more cybersecurity experts. Countries all over the world face varying degrees of cyber threat and comprehensive protections. For example, Iran had 52% of its mobile devices infected with malware. Meanwhile, Algeria protects its citizens with up-to-date legislation and cyber-attack preparations. 

Security experts have to be as widespread as the virtual marketplace to ensure safer international data collection practices. As the gap between needed professionals and available experts continues to widen, the importance of fully weighted and secure international data collection and processing also continues to grow. Right now, the larger virtual shift to remote work systems is opening up the labor market. This gives all kinds of businesses flexibility in where they are hiring from.

More than just outsourcing for software development, companies should be scouting for cybersecurity expertise across the globe to help them implement better data protections. In the future,  this process may be both more secure and more complicated with technological innovations and international data regulations. 

The Future: A Secure Global Data Ecosystem

While there may be positives and negatives inherent in the changes coming to international data collection, one thing is certain. In the future, our global digital ecosystems will be made more secure through both technology and common-sense international standards for cybersecurity.

As a result, we can all see benefits in our own data privacy. The future of data privacy will come in the form of better encryption practices over all our systems, powered by AI and IoT solutions. In turn, we will experience more transparent data collection practices as governments collaborate to set protective data standards. For international data collection, this may complicate the process but it will also lay the groundwork for a secure global data ecosystem.

The internet of the future can be a place where data collection leads to more benefits than risk. However, we must first address global cybersecurity needs and train new generations of security experts to keep international data collection practices safe and transparent. 

Written by
Indiana Lee
Journalist
Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.

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