Think Safety, Stay Secure

Safety is one of the most important aspects today – for people, for organizations, for governments and for countries. There is a lot of talk around the safety of people in general and data, which is critical to businesses. Businesses would always put forth the fact that data is the most important asset that they have, but do we really give the same importance to maintaining the sanctity of our data? Let’s ask ourselves a fundamental question – Have we thought that our safety could be breached? Be it personal or organizational. Today all of us are concerned about terrorism being the biggest challenge. We believe that is the single biggest problem we face. How can we stop it? Is safeguarding ourselves the first step towards it? Similarly, ensuring the sanctity of data at each level in an organization is probably the first step.

The key is that we need to understand and realize that this could happen to each of us. Today we tend to think that these are challenges that the industry faces but they won’t affect us. We are acting naïve with this line of thought. We, in India, recently saw that some of the highly confidential files from government’s offices were stolen. These were physical files and stolen from a very high security facility. There are many examples of such breaches today, especially for data residing on the hard drives. In Korea, three banks lost personal information of their customers. The number of people affected is close to 40% of Korea’s population.

How are we managing these challenges, when these threats are growing exponentially in both developed and developing economies? What really sets the developed countries apart from the developing ones? There would be many factors, but for me one of the main aspects is their farsightedness, their vision, their lookout towards the future.

Developed economies unlike the developing ones are cognizant of the threats they live with and act accordingly. Regulations are a key indicator towards that. Most of developed economies have regulations which drive security measure in organizations. These regulations are intended at ensuring the environment is secure and conducive to work. But is this rocket science? Of course all of us know that. All of us are aware of the fact that we need a safe and secure work environment. But the challenge may be the fact that we don’t realize that this may happen to us. We read about the incidents, breaches and all of these thefts happening today, but the thought never crosses us that this could happen to my organization, however weak or dated or non-existent my approaches to security.

It is time we realize what we might be getting into and act NOW and not necessarily wait for regulations to come in because the “thieves” won’t.

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