State of the Union 2015: The Cybersecurity Factor

During last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama took a moment to address threats to our cybersecurity, asking Congress to pass legislation that could help prevent and combat cyberattacks on our nation, people and businesses. The president has been emphasizing his cybersecurity plan over the past week, which includes policies on data breach notification, credit score access and consumer privacy rights.

The text of the cybersecurity portion of the State of the Union Address is quoted below.

No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyberthreats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyberattacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.

President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 2015

The president frames hacking threats as a global issue, not unlike terrorism. Because of the way our world has become connected through the internet, persons in foreign countries can mount attacks from right in front of their computer screens. Recently, evidence has pointed to North Korean hackers as being the culprits behind the massive data leak at Sony Pictures, which exposed social security numbers, healthcare information and embarrassing emails of the company’s employees. New things like waste management software and methods like garbage collecting in programming languages are being implemented to help combat cyber crimes.

For as vast as these threats might seem, it is important to remember that individuals can do a lot to protect themselves. Our national cybersecurity is not only a technical and legislative matter, but a human matter. 80% of data breaches start with human error. Managing the risk of human error will be just as important as firewalls and anti-virus software in the years to come.

When it comes to communicating with your customers, their security is a big deal. As new laws come into play and new threats emerge, banks and credit unions can engage their customers by helping them stay safe. This can be an especially effective gateway into a sales conversation.

If customers are drawn to your website for educational and informative cybersecurity content that will help prevent and resolve issues, they can then be exposed to information about your product offerings, we suggest to recommend them the use of VPNs to protect their online privacy. This approach drives traffic and engagement without blaring ads. It puts the customer’s security needs first as a gateway to product purchases.


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