Why Trust in Technology Can Overcome Our Change Anxiety
I have said in my previous blog that unforeseen circumstances often bring out our natural desire to evolve and adapt. But sometimes our concerns take over and stand in our way of creatively looking at how we deal with change.
I grew up in a small community near New York, as a part of a large family. When we went on vacation, we never locked the front door. We told the postman to leave mail on the table and close the door behind him. Friends came in to stay over while we were away. Hitchhiking was a very common means of transportation if you needed to get somewhere.
In this innocent world, we were never concerned anything would happen or be taken away from us. In fact, no one was concerned as we all knew each other. You would not thieve from someone you knew. And we lived by the motto that if you treat people nicely, they will treat you nicely in return.
Five decades on, this motto may well still apply. But the anonymity of our modern online lives does not protect us from those who want to appropriate from us. On the contrary, anonymity makes it very difficult to decide if a request to access our data is legitimate or not. It makes it harder for us to see who we are dealing with. This scares many of us and creates distrust.
This anxiety is evident in the results of the recent Unisys Security Index™. The world remains on high alert, and following the COVID-19 pandemic, Internet Security concerns have risen globally. This is hardly surprising, as ransomware attacks make regular headlines. Worryingly though, cybercrime does not stop at corporations with the expertise and funds to mitigate and combat them. We have seen and will see more attacks on underfunded public institutions such as hospitals, schools or local government sites, as my colleague Janine Moore points out in this paper. This is especially worrisome as these attacks negatively impact many and can endanger lives.
It is, of course, advisable to be diligent, alert and concerned. But I’d rather like to focus on the great things technology creates and how it betters our lives. It initiates change that makes us more connected. It brings us closer together and removes barriers. It gives us more diverse opportunities and changes how we learn, work and lead a healthier life. And it also provides the armor to prevent and stop cyber attacks. How we better protect financial institutions with AI and Machine Learning is a prime example of this.
So, this is a change that makes me feel very optimistic about the future. I trust that the means we already have to mitigate cyber attacks will become better and better. We now have sophisticated technology and tools that can help make our lives more secure. So, let’s use them and find some innocence again.