This year’s globally renowned International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is set to feature for the first time a Personal Privacy & Cyber Security Marketplace. According to the organizers, this area of the event will showcase everything from “smart wallets and safe payment apps to secure messaging and private internet access.”
It’ll be a great opportunity for attendees to see the latest in personal digital protection. But it’s also recognition that personal digital safety is a growing concern for everyone.
A year of breaches
The past 12 months has been a year of dramatic revelations of government surveillance and high profile attacks. These eye-catching reports have helped to bring cybersecurity issues into the mainstream for perhaps the first time and it looks like 2015 will continue the trend. According to our TrendLabs predictions for the coming year, we’re sure to see another surge in threats to consumers which will focus hearts and minds on enhancing online safety.
Android malware smashed through the four million mark in 2014 and will double next year as hackers look to target the platform with new exploit kits, we predict. The launch of Apple Pay, meanwhile, will give the mobile payments industry a boost, but alongside increasing take-up of Google Wallet it will also attract cybercriminals keen to make a fast buck. Then there’s the growing risk to online banking users – another threat set to cause consumers concern in 2015.
Although topics like digital privacy and security have been discussed for years in specialist circles – from the IT industry to academia, law enforcement and more – we’ve now reached the point where non-technical audiences are actively looking to maintain or improve their privacy online.
The new International CES Marketplace is another important step in beginning an open and frank discussion about the future of our online lives. A discussion like this comes none too soon. With the advent of things like smartwatches which combine health and fitness tracking with geolocation awareness, the stakes for personal privacy couldn’t be higher. We’re getting to a point where it’s critical for potential buyers of smart devices to ask good questions about security and privacy protections before they buy, because the cost of failure after purchase – and data gathering – can be so high.
CES on board
CES is the world’s longest running consumer electronics show; with the inaugural event held all the way back in 1967. This year it expects to welcome over 140,000 attendees to Las Vegas.
That’s why the new Cyber Security Marketplace is great news in raising the profile of online safety. There are 20 category-specific marketplaces slated for this year’s show, ranging from 3D printing and gaming, to smart home and vehicle intelligence. However, the focus in the cyber security space will very much be on consumer education, sponsored as it is by the Gold Identity Federation; an alliance of industry, government, and academic partners.
Trend Micro’s commitment
For over 26 years Trend Micro has been protecting our customers – be they consumers, businesses or governments – from the worst that the bad guys can throw at us. More than most, we’re aware of the increasing levels of determination and resource that cybercriminals are bringing to bear against their victims.
Yet even just a few simple steps can help reduce the risk of data loss or malware infection. It could be anything from applying patches to software and systems as soon as they come out; avoiding suspicious links and attachments messages; and keeping up-to-date with the latest anti-malware from a trusted provider.
It’s all about raising awareness levels amongst the public. That’s why we’re excited to see cybersecurity given the billing it needs at one of the world’s most popular consumer electronics trade shows. But establishing it alone isn’t enough. It’s also important that people at CES take advantage of it, use it, ask good questions, and get the products they feel can help protect their personal data there.
Smart device makers will make security and privacy a priority only if and when their potential customers do. This new marketplace can be an opportunity for everyone to highlight and showcase how this is an important area for them.
We look forward to the innovations that CES will undoubtedly offer, but remember that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.