IEEE, the world’s largest professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced the findings of an online survey that detail more than 1,900 technology enthusiasts’ views on digital safety and the future of cybersecurity. According to the results, when asked what year mobile payments would be secure enough to the point where traditional methods (such as cash and credit cards) would no longer be required, 70 percent of respondents indicated a major shift by 2030. The survey results also found, on a scale from 1-5 (1 being least concerned to 5 being most concerned), a similar percentage between the lack of concern regarding the security of work email (50 percent) and personal email (49 percent) accounts, which is surprising given that there is no dedicated IT department to monitor and protect personal email as there is for a work-affiliated account
“Now more than ever, cybersecurity is a necessary safeguard to our digital lives, which hosts a variety of our private and personal information,” stated Diogo Monica, IEEE member and security lead at Docker. “Cyberattacks can now unfortunately happen in nearly every element of our lives, such as our car, connected home and wearable devices. Whether it’s putting more reliance in digital systems for our currency or trusting that our email accounts are secure, we need to be cognizant and take the necessary precautions to protect our digital footprint.”
Consumers No Longer on Cloud Nine
More than one quarter (26 percent) of participants also noted that the cloud was the least preferred method for storing their information; 49 percent of respondents chose personal computer log as their primary option. Respondents did have concerns regarding other considerations to their digital footprint. When asked on a scale from 1-5 (1 being riskiest to 5 least risky) about their personal information being available on certain platforms, respondents believed that online banking (72 percent), syncing to the cloud (53 percent) and banking/mortgage information (60 percent) were extremely risky, indicating a 1 or 2 for each.
“There is a stigma attached to the term “cybersecurity” and “hacker,” due in large part to personal and corporate attacks, but there is so much opportunity and growth available in the cybersecurity industry,” stated David Brumley, IEEE member and director of CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University. “Initiatives such as ‘Hacking for Good’ can not only provide tools and a career path for students, but it can help change the perception that a “hacker” isn’t representative of the field as a whole. Responsibly encouraging and developing the next generation of cybersecurity personnel is needed to ensure we are protected in the future.”
Internet Starts with “I” – Managing Your Digital Home
There is a level of sophistication among respondents who monitor their home Internet activity. According to the results, 22 percent of respondents have automated alerts set up for any attempted connectivity, 11 percent utilize visualized monitoring in real-time and 3 percent connect to a cloud monitoring system. When asked what would be most affected by the continued developments of cybersecurity, participants noted identity theft (42 percent), followed by online anonymity (27 percent), piracy (18 percent) and viruses (12 percent).