|[Image source: Hamdi Bin Zainal/Shutterstock.com]|
If and when Brexit does occur, however, there is little to fear in terms of data protection: it is predicted that Britain would elect to conform to the standards established by the EU’s highly regarded General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective May 2018.
The trouble that Brexit will bring for cybersecurity are the problems that erecting new borders always brings:
1. Less information sharing and cybercrime collaboration. Brexit would limit the United Kingdom’s access to EU agencies such as Eurojust (judicial cooperation regarding criminal matters) and Europol (law enforcement intelligence) and complicate its ability to extradite foreign suspects. However, in a world where governments often double as cybercriminals, it remains to be seen whether less collaboration would help or harm the average digital citizen.
2. Less innovation. The United Kingdom’s talent pool will inevitably shrink, leaving the country even less able to compete with the United States’ already-dominant tech industry. Further concerns include the loss of UK government investment in EU cybersecurity startups (currently, the government invests in both EU and UK enterprises) and whether UK-based companies with EU employees will choose to relocate elsewhere.
3. Greater insecurity in general. Brexit has created more questions than answers, which is a dangerous place to be, cybersecurity-wise. “Security always suffers in times of uncertainty. What’s happened is unprecedented and there is a lot of confusion as to the next steps. This is the kind of chaotic environment in which insecurity thrives,” reported A.N. Ananth, CEO of EventTracker.
We have yet to see what exactly Brexit will bring, but in the meantime it serves as a valid reminder of the fragility of cybersecurity and the need for individuals to continue to protect themselves online.
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