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Identity is Security: Fun Idea or Creepy, You Decide

Growing old after taking a few pictures went viral this week, with celebrities like Drake to the Jonas Brothers turning to FaceApp to show their followers their aged visages. It’s a fun idea in theory (if you like the idea of seeing what you might look like in 40 years…), but it is also super creepy, outside of the obvious reason. Here’s why. The ‘old age filter’ this app applies, which uses AI to age your face digitally, has security experts warning that the free service is giving access to your personal information and identity that could potentially end up in the wrong hands. The app’s own fine print says that they own your content and can do whatever they want with it. This has so many people concerned, and for good reason, that lawmakers are asking the FBI to investigate and with CNN even running a headline that this ‘proves we will never take our digital privacy seriously.’ Ouch! I see this as another reminder to not to believe everything you read or see posted on social media, even if you have ‘FOMO.’ Resist the urge to age your face and start looking into what apps are doing with your personal information. Despite it not being clear how using apps like this will impact us in the future from a privacy perspective, what is clear is that the benefits of avoiding apps like these outweigh the potential security risks. It’s not worth it.

This cybersecurity story initially caught my eye this week largely because of the visual component—it shows, with circles, some of the world’s biggest data breaches. This visualization underscores what we already know by now – data breaches are far, far more frequent than they were even just a handful of years ago. In 2009, the circles were far and few between. Jump to today, and circles cover every inch of the screen, some large and some small but still the implications are the same. Data breaches are not going anywhere – as we often say, it is not a matter of ‘if’ you will get breached but a matter of ‘when.’ This visual really helps us ‘see’ the impact of poor security measures.

And as data breaches continue to pop up all over the world, it is critical we keep educating on how identity professionals can help secure organizations and people today. Our own James Honey spoke to this in his latest blog post—What Does an Identity Professional Look Like? He offers good tips and tricks if you are a new identity professional, which according to his unscientific research, a lot of people he encountered at last month’s Navigate were indeed new to their roles. As the digital transformation continues to make securing our workplace more complex, companies will continue to turn to identity as the secure foundation for their business. To keep up with the changing times, it’s also important for budding identity professionals to stay focused, ask questions and find a community. Which I hope you find here.

With that, we leave you to wrap up your week. Let us know what security stories caught your eye.