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Digital Dystopia: Kaspersky Reveals Possible Realities of a World Without Cybersecurity

Global cybersecurity company imagines the answers to many what-ifs of the evolving technology world.

by Gopalakrishnan Nair
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Kaspersky - A world free of cybersecurity

Does the absence of cybersecurity equate to a safer world? Kaspersky’s elite security researcher invites us to think again.

Vitaly Kamluk, Director of Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) for Asia Pacific (APAC) at Kaspersky, deep dives into the alternate realities of a world free of cybersecurity companies, solutions, and services. He revealed a possible digital dystopia once the industry of online defense is removed from the equation.

“It is projected that cybersecurity spending globally is set to balloon to $460 billion in the coming years, almost double the 2021 cumulative expenditures and almost as big as current total GDP (gross domestic product) of Thailand, for example. The current threat landscape can take this projection up a few notches if we are to consider the real situation worldwide. So, it is natural to ask why we are investing so much into cybersecurity and wouldn’t it be worth saving all this money for something else,” says Kamluk.

While it is possible, Kamluk enumerated the reasons why no one would choose to live in a world without cybersecurity:

  • No encryption, no privacy, no secrecy
  • No access control
  • No integrity validation

But removing the cyber defense industry opens up wide doors for criminals to exploit users’ data – from financial information, possible health issues, travel plans, spending, and more.

There will also be the possibility of fraudulent purchases, with everyone being able to claim one’s identity to purchase and even transfer money. Without access control, electronic voting and surveys can be rigged to someone’s favor. No one will have a private account online – there will be nothing private.

The absence of integrity validation also makes news and information untrustworthy, with fake news and disinformation expected to proliferate. You can’t trust any tech you use, any information you read. Basically, anything can be faked in a world without cybersecurity.

“I see a world without cybersecurity as a digital dystopia where no one can fully harness the opportunities brought about by the latest technologies that we have in our hands. Without companies and solutions working in the background to protect our data, our identity, the news we consume, and the applications and devices we use, we will be left on our own to wade through the risks and I am sure no one would choose to live in a chaotic world like this. Today, cybersecurity is often an invisible part of our life which we take for granted, but we owe it almost everything we have achieved as a civilization,” adds Kamluk.

When it comes to risks, Kamluk also revealed in his presentation that Kaspersky from July 2021 to August 2022 alone, the global cybersecurity company has detected and blocked over 7.2 billion attacks by malicious objects including malware and malicious web content worldwide.

From August 2021 to July 2022, APAC appears to be a vulnerable region. One in every three (35%) detections of malicious objects detected by Kaspersky solutions globally were targeting users from the region. India, Japan, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia are the top five countries in terms of infection attempts.

As a global cybersecurity company and a top major contributor to detecting and foiling sophisticated attacks across the world, Kaspersky’s top executive also imagined a world without Kaspersky.

Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Vice President for Global Sales and Network at Kaspersky, went back to the company’s beginning in 1997 when no one would have known that the world will be fighting one malware every hour without Kaspersky’s heuristic analysis technology.

In 2015, the world without Kaspersky would also not have learned of an unprecedented $1 bln cyber-robbery stolen in about two years from financial institutions worldwide by the Carbanak cybercriminal group. Together with INTERPOL, Europol, and authorities from different countries, Kaspersky uncovered the criminal plot behind the greatest heist of the century.

Free decryptors will also not be an advocacy of many without Kaspersky co-founding No More Ransom initiative, which since then grew from four partners to 188, contributing 136 decryption tools and helping over 1.5 million people worldwide decrypt their devices.

“In 2017, we kicked off an industry benchmark with the launch of Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative, as part of which we became the first cybersecurity company to offer its source code for third-party review. Five years after and with 25 years of expertise on our sleeves, we are now a team of over 4,500 professionals, creating a cybersecurity ecosystem as well as developing its own operating and IT systems that are inherently secure to bring on a cyber-immune future. Because we know the world needs cybersecurity and we are ready to do our part to bring on a safer future for everyone,” says Connell.

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