While many came to Las Vegas in early January to check out the world’s largest showcasing of drones, virtual reality simulators and self-driving cars, others attended the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show to address growing cyber-security concerns.
After a year of headlines dominated by major cyber-security breaches and attacks, this was the first time those concerns took centre stage at CES. The event saw numerous security-related product launches, forums and panels identifying threats and discussing best practices, and even a CyberSecurity Forum — the first of its kind at CES.
While cyber-security has always been an area of concern, the high-profile breaches and attacks on Hollywood, major retail chains and government institutions since last year’s CES prompted event organizers to refocus.
“We live in an economic world where companies respond to what people want,” Michael Gorman, the editor-in-chief of tech magazine Engadget, told Reuters. “If consumers start demanding that security be a main emphasis for companies, than companies are going to respond to that.”
The results of that demand were apparent at CES 2016, which hosted the launch of a number of cyber-security products and services. Perhaps most notable is a new startup founded by Graham Holdings Company and education provider Kaplan. Together they created CyberVista, a cyber-security training and workforce development education program.
“There is a documented cyber workforce shortage that continues to grow,” said Timothy O’Shaughnessy, CEO and president of Graham Holdings, during the CES CyberSecurity Forum. The partnership between Graham Holdings and Kaplan, he said, will help to meet a critical need in the market.
The startup hopes to educate companies on how to mitigate and respond to the increasing threat of cyber attacks, while preparing for the growth of emerging product categories such as smart home technology and delivery drones.
“We believe that a well-trained force of security professionals working together with cyber-literate executives and security-aware employees is an organization’s most critical line of defense,” said CyberVista CEO Amjed Saffarini. “We intend to deliver the education and training required to create that kind of workforce.”
The event also hosted a number of forums on cyber security, including Cyber Security Starts at the Top, on how CEOs and boards are responsible for keeping their companies secure; The IoT: Mitigating Risks and Harnessing Potential, a discussion of the risks associated with the Internet of Things; and When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies, a discussion on improving security readiness and response.
Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos