In a sleepy town of Laguna Niguel, California there is a dynamite explosion at United California Bank, it’s March 24th, 1972. Burglars led by Amil Dinsio break into a concrete reinforced of the vault stealing $9 million ($55 million today). Hollywood style investigation and dirty laundry lead to the arrest and conviction of the masterminds behind the heist.
November 30th, 2018, Marriott is announcing a data breach of 500 million customers. Data including passport numbers, social security numbers, credit card information were stolen. In a data economy we live in, there is a price-tag on personal details regardless of where they are sold dark web or social media APIs. Marriott did use encryption to protect the data. The hackers compromised the system admin account and got on hold of encryption keys. There was no dynamite needed nor fingerprints were found in dirty laundry.
We still tend to perceive intangible digital assets like data as something that isn’t worth anything — which is wrong. Data economy runs on data. Information is more valuable than cash. Personal information is the hard currency we pay to use services from companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Protecting personal information is a crucial investment. Lesson learned from the 2008 financial crisis is that recession fuels crime. Limited physical mobility of 2020 and lurking recession across the globe shows dependence on the internet infrastructure. Security will be put on the test. Usable encryption is the first step to ensure that the world won’t become even more chaotic.