“Why Secure Communications Matter in the Digital Age.”

With the rise of the internet and the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, we are more connected than ever before. However, this also means that we are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other forms of digital espionage.

Information privacy is a fundamental human right essential for maintaining our autonomy, dignity, and security. In today’s digital age, it is more important than ever to protect our personal information from being compromised, exploited, or used without our consent.

Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 2020:

Reaffirming the human right to privacy, according to which no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, and the right to the protection of the law against such interference, and recognizing that the exercise of the right to privacy is important for the realization of the right to freedom of expression and to hold opinions without interference and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and is one of the foundations of a democratic society.[1]

In the digital world our privacy can be determined by who has access to our data and personal information. This can include personal information such as credit card numbers and social security numbers, as well as business information such as trade secrets and confidential documents. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for identity theft, financial fraud, and other malicious activities.

This is particularly important in an age where rapidly evolving technology allows companies, governments, and other organizations to collect, store, and share vast amounts of our personal and sensitive data. This data, as we frequently see in various business sectors, is compromised and exploited in communication. Without methods of secure communication and privacy protections in place, our personal information can be hacked and exploited, leaving us vulnerable to identity theft, fraud, extortion and other types of abuse.

A recent study shows that personally identifiable information is the most targeted data for breaches, comprising 97% of all breaches. Despite regulatory legislation and enterprise efforts to increase cybersecurity, in 2018 alone, 2,8 billion consumer data records were exposed at an estimated cost of more than $654 billion.[2]

In addition to personal risk, another global concern is the increasing use of digital espionage by foreign governments to gain an advantage in international relations. This can include hacking into government and military networks to steal sensitive information, or using social media to influence public opinion and disrupt elections.

To protect against these threats, secure communications are essential. These risks and breaches can be prevented using encryption to protect information as it is transmitted over the internet, as well as using secure messaging apps and other tools to protect against digital espionage. In both public and privates sectors there is a growing necessity in training employees and users on how to identify and avoid potential cyber threats.

Secure communications protect and preserve our individual and institutional privacy and digital safety, ensuring a trusted interaction with the digital world around us.

[1] https://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?OpenAgent&DS=A/HRC/RES/42/15&Lang=E

[2] https://www.accountancysa.org.za/