Forgoing deep content inspection leaves doors open to cyber criminals

Dr. Guy Bunker, senior vice president of products at Clearswift, will warn that governments are at a heightened risk of falling prey to cyber attacks if they do not implement robust security policies and enforce them effectively – and part of a robust policy should be the deep content inspection of communications. 

“Information is created and consumed at a very fast pace,” he will say. “There is every chance that it might lose a great part of its value, if it is delayed. Automated deep content inspection (DCI) and information governance combat the security risks without compromising on communication.” 

His vision is that a robust data classification system should be enforced, internally and between partners and agencies, by content inspection checking for ‘specific content, such as confidential information, active content and inappropriate words.’ But it’s a difficult area. Content filtering or inspection within an organization is one thing, but as soon as that regime is imposed on outside partners, then the EU data protection regime could come into play.

Privacy activists will be concerned that use of such technology by government for government might creep out into wider inspection of all communications. Alexander Hanff points out that the right to privacy “is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, European Covenant and International Covenant (United Nations).” He told Infosecurity, “The European Court of Justice has already made a number of rulings with regards to the general monitoring of citizens’ communications.  In both SABAM vs Scarlet and SABAM vs Netlog the court made it clear that Privacy was a fundamental right and general monitoring was not acceptable even in preventing crime.”

The concern is that the proposed Communications Bill, already generally known as the snoopers’ charter, could be a vehicle to expand deep content inspection to the whole population.

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