Thales2016-07-13 10:36:33

Digital transformation security

As an individual in the age of digital transformation, chances are good that your life has been shaped or changed dramatically by the pace of technology innovation over the past 20 years - resulting perhaps in a mild case of technology whiplash.

Coinciding with this phenomenon is the fact that urbanization is on the rise around the globe. According to the United Nations, 54 percent of the world's population lives in urban areas, a percentage expected to reach 66 percent by 2050.

This "mega-cities" trend is in part due to digital transformations which are changing economies, cultures and communities at light speed. Unprecedented connectivity, mobility and access to information are fundamentally changing how individuals, organizations and communities view their own safety, security and quality of life.

The upside to this innovation? Tremendous new capabilities that allow people to stay connected, make purchases, conduct business transactions and access information with a level of convenience undreamt of just a short time ago.

The downside: A growing rate of fraud, theft, cyber attacks and other forms of criminal and nefarious activity.

Identifying potential vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities amid this complexity is a challenge that Thales is helping customers meet head-on. Our solutions provide security professionals, military commanders and metropolitan leaders with real-time data from multiple sources - and the analysis required to make decisions that can save lives, prevent crime, protect sensitive information and safeguard communities.

From the protection of critical infrastructure to information in cyberspace, and point-of-sale purchases to international financial transactions, Thales is helping organizations everywhere meet the challenges of a complex digital age.

Securing a Personal Digital Environment

Across the networks that enable different types of personal transactions, there remains the challenge of information integrity and protection, from the point where data is collected down the line to different endpoints and devices. With more platforms used by consumers to make payments, for example, that line stretches further than ever, given options such as smartphone payment apps, roving checkout devices and online payments.

NASDAQ estimates that merchants who sold through mobile channels lost 70 percent more revenue due to fraud in 2014 than in 2013. With Gartner predicting that global mobile transactions will increase by 35 percent until 2017, how can we ensure that the rapid increase in digital payments doesn't result in a massive increase in risk?

Encryption is part of the answer, but the challenges are numerous. To protect data, first you have to know its vulnerabilities. In a customer study by Thales, 57 percent of respondents said the biggest challenge to utilizing data encryption was locating where sensitive information resides in their own organizations and it turns out that sensitive data can come from just about anywhere.

That is why navigating these issues is complex, making security, innovation and expertise important in choosing a provider.

Thales has been designing payment protection solutions for more than 25 years, and is the number one provider of security for banking transactions worldwide. Thales' payShield is currently the number one solution worldwide for payment processes meeting or exceeding the requirements of major card issuers, including American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Thales protects 80 percent of the world's banking transactions and secures the information systems of more than 3,000 financial institutions worldwide, including 19 of the 20 largest banks. In the U.K alone, Thales safeguards 3.7 billion payment transactions every year - more than 7,000 transactions every minute.

Securing payments is just one piece of the puzzle. Ease of access to payment solutions to help move people faster is another - whether for retail transactions or those trying to get from point A to point B. Thales' Dream Gate, a digital age transportation "turnstile," offers increased passenger flow, minimizes physical barriers and uses 3D technology imaging that detects non-payments and "tailgating." With contactless ticketing technologies, this allows passengers to travel easily to their chosen destination.

Thales also provides a solution for digital, mobile security operations to support public safety and inter-agency communications for governments. This mobile platform can be used by public employees and general populations in specific areas to help crowdsource information faster and more accurately giving decision makers enriched details enabling faster, more accurate responses to potential security issues. This technology is currently being used in real-world global operations in both the government and private sectors to increase situational awareness, enable faster decisions, and streamline communications.

As technologies and security protocols improve, added complexity often follows. That's why we are constantly adapting our solutions for effectiveness at all points of interaction.

Defending Organizations During Complex Transactions

As digital transformation impacts nearly every industry sector, these points of interaction are only going to become more numerous, disparate and in many cases, vulnerable. For organizations backing complex payment transactions, Thales continues to focus on security technologies that are shaping the digital environment for small, medium and large enterprises that remain at risk.

According to Thales company Vormetric's 2015 Data Threat Report, roughly 39 percent of 1,100 IT executives surveyed indicated their organization had either experienced a data breach or failed a compliance audit due to data security issues in the previous year, and 61 percent had been breached at some point in the past.

Thales is working to harden the defenses of enterprises like these. Hardware security modules (HSMs) provide a tamper-resistant environment for secure cryptographic processing, key protection, and key management. These devices allow the deployment of high-assurance security solutions that satisfy established and emerging standards of due care for cryptographic systems and practices - while also maintaining high levels of operational efficiency. In fact, Thales cryptographic solutions are used by 22 different NATO countries.

Thales is no newcomer to digital security. For more than 20 years, products in the Datacryptor network encryption family have helped businesses and government organizations achieve secure, affordable, and high-performance end-to-end connectivity for data in motion.

On the other end of the spectrum where physical asset security is needed, real-time asset-tracking technologies become essential and provide significant benefits beyond only data security. Thales will soon provide global, high-throughput network connections through the Iridium Certus network and one example where security comes into play is vehicle tracking. This satellite-based connectivity solution will untether fleet vehicle operators from ground networks giving them a system that is highly resistant to disruption and allows them to have virtual eyes-in-the-field. Being built for use by commercial and military networks on land, in the air and at sea, these services are ideal for other critical network security and communications applications.

Given the number and variety of threats to critical networks and physical assets of enterprises worldwide, it is necessary that they think critically about procuring robust security solutions while balancing consumer and/or citizen convenience.

Digital Environments, Smarter Cities

The answer for a growing number of leaders is the adoption of smart city technologies, where systems and solutions communicate with city managers about where to deploy a variety of services, from trash collection to police patrols. The digital transformation of these cities will be enabled by sensors and mobile devices that provide real-time feedback on everything from the condition of water treatment and energy infrastructure to the on-time status of public transportation vehicles and traffic congestion.

International Data Corporation predicts that by 2017, at least 20 of the world's largest countries will create national smart city policies to "prioritize funding and document technical and business guidelines."

Given the rate of innovation that will enable smart cities, government leaders may have a hard time keeping up. With more than 20 billion items expected to be connected in the Internet of Things by 2020, and tech companies announcing consumer-focused advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning nearly every day, policies must adapt in tandem. Failing that, policymakers will face difficult questions from their growing urban constituencies about what is being done to protect their privacy, safety, security and quality of life.

One option keeping some cities ahead of the curve is the Thales Smart City solution, which deploys integrated systems to share and pull together information from multiple data sources in an urban environment. A command-and-control center systematically analyzes information and coordinates security services and emergency responders in the event of an incident or crisis. In Mexico City, for example, Thales has deployed one of the most extensive urban security systems of its kind to help better protect the city's 22 million inhabitants.

Similar data gathering and analysis capabilities power Thales solutions that protect critical infrastructure. As a trusted partner of critical infrastructure operators for more than 20 years, Thales provides security solutions for over 400 critical installations worldwide including airports, seaports, oil facilities and public attractions - such as museums and theme parks - wherever large crowds tend to form.

Airport officials, charged with operating vital hubs in the nation's transportation infrastructure, are no strangers to crowds. Increasingly, they are turning to Thales for help. For airports on three continents, Thales currently protects more than 168 million passengers each year with solutions for real-time ID management, facility information, system integration and network interoperability. Our integrated security solutions provide airport operators with a complete picture of the overall security situation at all times, accomplished through unified systems for surveillance, comprehensive incident management and real-time coordination via a command and control center.

As the ultimate security providers, military organizations are also adopting new solutions for the digital age. Thales is a key player here as well, ensuring the highest security standards are met for the protection of complex, classified information. Utilizing the latest secure infrastructure to guard communications, Thales provides cost-effective solutions from intrusion tests to deployments. Today, Thales supplies the unified command and information system for the National Genderarmie, one of two national police forces in France. Thales' system serves more than 60,000 personnel at 4,300 sites, offering secure access to over 100 million documents and capacity for simultaneous connection of 5,000 users.

Security with One Goal: Enable Trust

The basis for the effectiveness of these and other solutions lies not only our hardware, software and systems, but in our ability to create trust among organizations and individuals who are increasingly aware of the risks to mission effectiveness, commercial activity and personal transactions in the digital age.

In a 2015 Pew Research survey, just 6 percent of adults said they were "very confident" that government agencies could keep their records private and secure, while another 25 percent said they were "somewhat confident." Credit card companies fared somewhat better - 9 percent said they were "very confident" and 29 percent said they were "somewhat confident" their data would be protected.

This is unwelcome news for companies seeking to forge new revenue streams and create seamless transaction experiences for their customers. That's why ongoing security innovation - and education - is vital. Today's connected citizens must be made aware that their governments, banks and other institutions have access to the most robust, proven and trusted digital security solutions available. They must know that if the appropriate investments are made in security technologies, their institutions can begin to gain the upper hand on those who wish to do them harm - whether in cyberspace, in their neighborhoods or on a conventional battlefield.

Ongoing innovation is one of Thales' priorities as communities confront the challenges posed by growing urban populations, ubiquitous connectivity and the digital age's related convenience, safety and security concerns. Recognizing the need and providing the resources that allow technology to help is the imperative of government leaders and business executives worldwide.

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