SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer is an attorney whose practice is limited to the practice of telecommunications law. In this capacity, she has...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Martha Buyer | February 26, 2015 |

 
   

New Considerations for Old Data Security Wrinkles

New Considerations for Old Data Security Wrinkles As the Internet of Things expands, the FTC issues recommendations on how to keep consumers safe from data breach.

As the Internet of Things expands, the FTC issues recommendations on how to keep consumers safe from data breach.

As the volume of information about absolutely everything we do becomes increasingly large, and as the number of data security breaches continues to climb, enterprise consumers of telecommunications services have become increasingly vigilant about staying current on the latest and greatest techniques for managing potential intrusion. We're all familiar with horror stories of the recent major data breaches that have hit the headlines in a big way. Target and Anthem come to mind immediately, but there are legions of others. Now consider the fact that these major corporations use relatively state-of-the-art detection and monitoring systems, and even they've been infiltrated with malware.

Now consider the router you use at home or in a less high-profile part of the business. How old is it? It is likely running software that is, in most cases, at least several years old. So based on the age and sophistication of all of existing network components, the information stored on or traveling over the network is not just vulnerable to the type of threats that have affected the big boys, but to threats that are years old and correspondingly much less sophisticated than those currently making the rounds. Think of the adage "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link."

Spurred to Action
portable

Aware of these obvious vulnerabilities made all the more acute by the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), the Federal Trade Commission has taken action. (Its report, released in January, can be found here.

FTC Chair Edith Ramirez, whom I heard speak in the past month, is compelled by the fact that the privacy and security concerns created by the IoT's rise has the potential to undermine consumer confidence in a significant way. "The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers," she said recently. She said she believes technology innovation is only a good thing if consumers are confident that they won't be the next victims of a high-profile breach. If this heretofore private information is readily accessible to the immediate world, and what was thought to be private is now public, consumers have good reason to be alarmed in general and distrustful of the companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell such products.

In its report, the FTC made several important suggestions to mitigate consumers' concerns. First, the FTC encourages manufacturers to ensure that security is built into devices as they're made, rather than after they're already on the market. Secondly, the agency suggests that all employees be instructed on the importance of information security, and that security issues have a sufficiently high profile within the manufacturing/selling organization to keep them front and center at all times. Although there are other suggestions, the last uber-critical one is that devices be monitored throughout their anticipated life cycle (think home routers) such that security updates and patches are provided at all times to cover known and newly discovered risks regardless of device age.

Minimizing Data
In addition, the FTC suggests that companies in this space consider "data minimization," the practice of limiting the collection and retention of consumer data for a set period of time only, and never indefinitely. According to the FTC, data minimization has two goals with respect to privacy: First, accepting the risk that a company with a large store of consumer data is "a more enticing target" for data thieves or hackers based upon the volume of data that it has, and secondly, an acknowledgment that "available consumer data will be used in ways contrary to consumers' expectations." Finally, the FTC strongly suggests companies selling IoT items to consumers educate them about their reasonable expectations of what information is being collected and stored, and for what period of time.

As Jahangir Mohammed, chairman of the Silicon Valley-based tech company Jasper, said in a recent interview, "The real power of the Internet of Things is that it transforms a static product into a dynamic service. Once a thing is connected, it really becomes unlimited in terms of what it can process, because it can borrow from all the computers in the Internet to do the processing and it has real-time access to all the information in the Internet. It's no longer an isolated thing. It's become part of a fabric of everything connected. It's a part of a much larger fabric. It's a service. This is the real power of the Internet of Things."

The information that's generated by the IoT is no doubt powerful. But with great power comes great responsibility -- on the parts of the manufacturer, distributor, retail outlet and, ultimately, consumer. Privacy and security experts encourage consumers, in the strongest possible terms, to consider the risks and consequences before sharing seemingly harmless information with the immediate world. I couldn't agree more.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.