Data growth, risk and cyber security – IT & Telecoms Forum

it telecom forum data risks, cyber security

Exponential growth, data and cyber-security.

Today I had the privilege of joining the Thames Valley IT & Telecoms forum at the Verizon HQ in Reading as their guest speaker.

My topic was on the risks and rewards presented by the exponential growth of data.

I talked about some of the current trends that are driving the growth in data, introduced the concept of operational versus exhaust data and opened up discussion about the types of data we knowingly and unknowingly generate.

I also used three personal stories about how when different, innocuous data sources were conflated, unexpected consequences arose.

Group discussions

Following the presentation we broke into smaller groups and discussed three main topics related to the presentation. These questions helped focus our attention towards what data we depend on in our businesses, whether we would know if that data had been compromised (not just stollen, but altered, too), and what consequential data we generate that others might highly value (exhaust data).

There were some really great discussions around the table, including how a firm of accountants are now able to advise clients if they are getting paid slower than others in their sectors by understanding the by-products of the data they collect in their day-to-day functions. This was a great example of data that had previously flown in and out of their systems, without adding any value, but now has been turned into not just valuable diagnostics but also a useful form of data for predicting potential problems down the road.

Cyber security is everyone’s job

Whilst discussing how the risk of cyber attacks and ransomware, we touched on an example of where a CRM system had been hijacked, and was secretly sending all customer emails to a competitor. This and many other examples that were shared all stemmed back to human failing, in one way or another, which led us on to conclude that cyber-defence is an obligation of everyone in the organisation, and indeed society.

Whilst it might sound obvious, education and awareness are still one of the most effective cyber-defences you can employ, the trouble is, as my talk tried to illustrate, that there is a lot of data we generate in going about our daily tasks that we don’t even realise we generate, let alone think about securing and monitoring.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about what we discussed, and would like to know how we can help raise awareness of the data you might not know you need to protect, then do get in touch.

Download the presentation and additional material

If you would like to see the presentation I gave, and the additional links I mentioned, please fill in the form below and I’ll send you over the links.

Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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