07 Aug 18

Tech Tension

CEO Blog

This is my fourth month as a member of the DarkMatter community, and I have a front-row participation in the salient technology tensions of our times.

This is a fascinating period for contributing to the uber-rise of digitisation and influencing its evolution. It is also an intriguing time to observe the acceleration of risks in cyberspace and actively work on mitigating them. These dynamics are, in fact, intertwined and reinforcing each other.

Our daily lives are now defined by digital journeys. Whether it is about reading, driving, working, shopping, networking, studying, gaming, opining, voting or even complaining, our daily routine is shaped by digitally enabled ways-of-doing-things.

These journeys aim to improve our experiences as well as the desired outcomes. Journeys are inclusive of technology structures, systems, and selective human interfaces. These elements come together to put digital at the centre of almost everything we do.

But this is not all peaches and cream. To draw on the parallels of these system dynamics, every marked advance in digitization is yielding a new tension that we must learn to manage and embrace. Here is a summary of the top five tensions

1. At the highest level, the increasing prevalence of digitization is being matched by a faster incidence of cybersecurity risks. In fact, the relation is nearly exponential, i.e. cyberattacks are advancing at a much faster rate than digitization. The cybersecurity battle is indeed heating up.

2. The digital age has empowered each one of us. We are more productive, more engaged, more integrated, more present, and possibly more stressed. The flip side of this newly gained felocity is that every digitally enabled user has become a potential vulnerable end-point to a cyberattack. Protection is taking a whole new meaning.

3. Digital enablement is touching every aspect of our lives, by design or by necessity. We’re also left wondering what is next after what happens next in digital. Among the few certainties is the increasing density of digital connections and networks we’re now part of, and the growing challenge to protect them. The imperatives of detecting, protecting and remediating in the cyberage are growing in complexity.

4. Part of the empowerment benefit is our almost infinite access to information. The other part has to do with the great digital tools we use every day to curate the information we access. This misguided sense of knowledge and control is numbing our situational awareness vis-a-vis cyber risks. Always-on cyber alertness is a must-have.

5. The ways-of-doing-things in a digitally native environment are disrupting the incumbent analogue models of the past. But the breaking of these legacy moulds is also tinkering with proven technology models. Business continuity questions must be revisited, and some may not have yet a satisfactory answer. Digital disruption must be matched by cybersecurity resilience.

The DarkMatter Group is at the forefront of these tensions. The journey ahead is unprecedented, possibly intimidating but most importantly essential and highly rewarding. En route.

About the author

Karim Sabbagh is CEO at DarkMatter. 

By Karim Sabbagh
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