Does a lack of security stifle innovation?

Americans appear to be all too ready to adopt innovative technologies before they have been secured.

The Cyber Secure Institute released a statement this month that said the lack of protections in our information technology infrastructure hampers the economy by stifling technological innovation. Americans won’t use new technology if they don’t feel secure, the institute said.

“To be successful needs to constantly push the limits of innovation and efficiencies,” the institute said. “But American innovation can’t take consumers and companies to the next level if they don’t want to go there because they fear the security of their data, money and personal privacy.”

The essay was a pitch for federal stimulus funding for cybersecurity. However, that sector probably doesn’t need stimulus dollars to keep humming along. Americans have always been more than ready to adopt new technology without concern for security. Look at the Internet, cell phones, instant messaging, Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer networks, Facebook and so on. We love to play with the latest toys, which soon work their way into the enterprise as business tools — followed by a new suite of products and services being sold to secure them.

This tendency to value new functionality over security is the reason IT security has thrived as a stand-alone sector long after its predicted demise. There's always something new that we have to secure.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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