Compliance Management, Incident Response, Privacy, TDR

Research head charts impact of security spending on surveillance

An analyst predicts that a dramatic increase in security spending over the next decade, from $60 billion to $639 billion, will help give the industry the leverage it needs to defend users' data from the prying eyes of the government.

On Wednesday, Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst of IT-Harvest, a Birmingham, Mich.-based research firm, addressed the country's surveillance state and what impact it would have on the IT sector. Stiennon spoke at SC Congress Chicago as the first keynote of the day at the security conference.

“This destruction of trust is going to have, and is already having, immediate, deep impact,” Stiennon said. “Every country in the world is questioning their use of American-based technology.”

Recent revelations about the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass collection of citizen data and its practice of pressuring tech companies into giving the agency backdoor access to its software, have equated to tangible losses for U.S. businesses, Steinnon said.

“China, which is our biggest market of opportunity for tech companies, is systematically rejecting U.S. technologies and [company] sales are starting to fall,” he said, later naming Cisco as a prime example of the fiscal impact surveillance will have on the IT sector.

The network equipment giant recently reported a significant drop in orders from emerging markets, including China, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal

As security practitioners continue to learn more about the government's tactics in undermining corporate and individual privacy, it will be IT management's responsibility to honestly convey what protections they can and can not provide customers, Stiennon told attendees.

He even went as far as to say that “every single compliance regime has been broken by the NSA,” and that global companies should attest to this when signing non-disclosure agreements with customers outside of the United States.

Continued investments in our security infrastructure, including funding dedicated to encryption, will allow the industry to respond and “win this battle” against surveillance, he said.

“It's going to take quite a lot to conquer this new threat,” Stiennon said. “And it has to be recognized, first of all, that it's a threat in line with cyber crime, cyber espionage, nation-state spying and information warfare."

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