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Cyber security decisions “must focus on deploying emerging technologies to benefit society”

by Brian Sims

The world is at a ‘technology crossroads’ whereby society needs to move beyond trusting emerging technologies and focus on deploying them in ways that benefit society. That’s the message espoused this week by Unisys Corporation’s chief trust officer Tom Patterson at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“During the World Economic Forum in 2018, there was a seminal panel discussion entitled ‘In Technology We Trust’ that posited that the movement to trust technology for our global security is the most pivotal and important discussion of all,” said Patterson. “While still true today, we need to go beyond the discussion of any inherent trust in specific technology and focus on how it will actually be used to benefit global society.”

Patterson continued: “Technologies like 5G, quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and biometrics are individually disruptive, but collectively they will completely rewrite the global trust models for better or worse. Our levels of security and privacy in the years ahead will be dominated by the decisions we make today.”

Patterson is presenting his views on this technology crossroads and participating in an expert panel of cyber security futurists from Barclays, Intuit, Palo Alto Networks, SAP and SINET at the Cyber Future Dialogue 2019 event. Among the topics in Patterson’s presentation are the importance of citizens playing a role in deciding how emerging technologies will apply to their lives in protecting and providing critical infrastructure across Governments, transportation, energy, finance, defence and healthcare.

Leading voice on cyber security

Patterson’s presentation in Davos serves to extend Unisys’ presence as a leading voice in Europe’s ongoing dialogue around cyber security. The company announced in November last year its support of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyber Space in line with its commitment to global cyber security and the promotion of Best Practice across international Governments and businesses. Unisys is an early supporter of this global initiative, which aims to make the Internet safer around the world.

Patterson also serves as the co-lead of the Working Group of the White House Cyber Moonshot Sub-Committee – which is co-chaired by Unisys chairman and CEO Peter Altabef – of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). Founded in 1982 by President Reagan and an act of Congress, the NSTAC is chartered to provide information and advice to the President with respect to national security. The Cyber Security Moonshot report includes a set of recommendations for a “whole of nation approach” regarding the Internet similar in spirit to the one once announced by President Kennedy for “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” by the end of the 1960s.

‘Information Reliability and Fake News’

Dr Jacqui Taylor, CEO and co-founder of FlyingBinary, is also joining global leaders in Davos for the Cyber Future Dialogue 2019 to discuss cyber security issues.

Dr Taylor is taking part in the panel discussion entitled ‘Information Reliability and Fake News’ and being joined by other global cyber leaders to discuss the business, technical and social challenges facing business executives, civic leaders and cyber security experts alike in an increasingly digitised society.

Hosted during the World Economic Forum, Cyber Future Dialogue is an executive round table of select global leaders and luminaries from both the public and private sectors. The Cyber Future Dialogue is convened by Valmiki Mukherjee, chairman and founder of the Cyber Future Foundation. This pioneering group will develop a Call to Action and issue a resolution for tackling the upcoming year’s cyber security priorities.

Communities have “vital role to play”

“In an increasingly connected world, communities have a vital role to play in securing the future of our society,” said Dr Taylor. “Social movements which form around an idea have increasingly swept across our online world, in turn changing our society at fundamental levels. As the UK prepares to deliver a  new agenda globally to tackle corruption, I’m delighted to discuss our Internet of Things technology which federates citizens’ views at scale based on a web science agenda. Fake news can be countered using this approach, irrespective of its source.”

Valmiki Mukherjee added: “We’re seeing an extraordinary move towards a connected digital world wherein digital technology controls every aspect of our being. While technology in its various forms is meant to enhance our experience and enrich our lives, it’s also being used in ways that the creators of those technologies could never have imagined. For us to move forward as individuals, businesses and nations, we would need to have an holistic view of the cyber implications, ranging from technology through to its implication for our nations and businesses and, above all, people.”

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