Secure and reliable
How we consistently protect our customers‘ data
Secure and reliable
Customer data is the new oil of our digital age. Prioritising digital ethics is vital to protect this sensitive resource.
At Hager Group, we are well aware that cybersecurity and the protection of personal data are of increasing importance to our customers. And for good reason. As we rely more and more on connected products and the exchange of data, a development that has undeniably and considerably enriched our lives, we greatly increase the risk of falling victim to digital attacks.
From every 40 seconds in 2016...
...to every 14 seconds in 2019, businesses are predicted...
...to fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021.
Data is the lifeblood of every new technology rolled out today. In our world of the Internet of Things, experts estimate the number of connected ‘things’ continuously sending and/or receiving data to be 80 billion and rising. Companies with data-based business models are the oil conglomerates of our time; except that these blue chips are much larger and more powerful than the Shells and Standard Oils of the past. As some nations continue to build new or higher borders in the physical world, it is astounding to think how little has been done in the digital space given that it transcends every border.
It is important for us to develop digital ethics based on our values of courage, authenticity and integrity.
As one of the important players in our industry, we take a proactive approach to meeting the expectations of our customers for the highest level of data security. This is particularly true when it comes to our development of networked solutions, into which we are integrating more and more IoT products. We know that many of our future products and solutions will be networked and will therefore collect more and more information about our customers’ energy consumption with the aim of offering value-added services, such as smart homes and energy-saving solutions, based on the latest technologies. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we develop a code of ethics for the digital age that is founded on our corporate values of courage, authenticity and integrity.
Why hackers love connectivity
We are taking a multi-level approach to this challenge. First of all, we are systematically checking and enhancing the security of all the software we use to manage our products and solutions. This is a relatively complex task when you consider how connected the flow of digital data is: our end customer solutions are connected to our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, which in turn is linked to our resource planning and manufacturing systems. With the advent of Industry 4.0, the amount of manufacturing information being exchanged directly with our data processing systems will only increase. Every nook and cranny of the system inevitably represents a potential vulnerability for hackers to take advantage of. In a networked system, there is no ‘average’ level of security, attackers are always looking for the weakest link that opens up a backdoor into the system. To ensure that we do not leave even the smallest backdoor open, we continuously analyse of our systems and solutions, while increasing our security standards at every level on an ongoing basis.
For example, as more and more home automation solutions depend on cloud storage, their data integrity logically depends on the cloud operator, its security systems and the regulations of the country in which its servers are located. We have therefore partnered with Microsoft to ensure that our products and solutions offer maximum security to our customers. As the strongest provider in this area, Microsoft guarantees that our data and that of our customers is stored exclusively in Europe in accordance with the highest security standards.
In 2019, it is estimated that cybercrime-related costs surpassed US $2 trillion globally. By 2021, cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion yearly. In comparison: Microsoft, currently the world’s most valuable company, is worth $1.01 trillion (as of August 2019).
= 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) or 0.01 trillion
Being known as a company with advanced data technology protection will increasingly turn into a competitive advantage.
Digital ethics start at the product development stage
This is still not enough, however. Data security is something we need to think about from the moment we start working on a new product or solution. We conduct global data protection campaigns to raise our employees’ awareness of cyberattacks and data protection. Ultimately, it is not only our products and solutions that are vulnerable to attack, it is also our group and our employees. This is why we ensure that each and every colleague considers it their personal duty to make hackers’ lives as difficult as possible.
Needless to say, this approach to digital ethics often means more work, greater caution, added expense and sometimes even turning our backs on a lucrative deal. We are committed to our values, however. I firmly believe that safeguarding customer data and being known as a company that takes its data protection responsibilities seriously will increasingly become a competitive advantage. While older people like me are often still regrettably naive about their data and the data trail they leave behind on the public internet, younger generations are much savvier. Brands and companies that guarantee responsible data handling will become preferred partners. We have made it our mission to become such a preferred and responsible partner.
The most common cyberattacks in 2018:
inadvertent disclosure of data
stolen/lost devices or data records
Growth is good, but not at any cost
Will we therefore be immune to the risk of one day becoming the target of hacker attacks? Not at all. Unfortunately, cybercrime is becoming as prevalent as burglaries in good neighbourhoods. And as is the case with burglary, it is impossible to guarantee 100% protection, however careful you are. What is certain, however, is that we are doing everything we can to defend ourselves and our customer data as comprehensively as possible.
At Hager Group, we have always been committed to our values and will remain so. We need (and aspire to) growth, yet not at any cost. Digital ethics therefore draw the line between what is technologically possible and what is right from an ethical perspective. Technology is only neutral until it is put to use. It is up to us to determine our own destiny.
Cybercrime is becoming an everyday phenomenon. However careful you are, it is imposible to guarantee 100% protection. What is certain is that we are doing everything we can to defend ourselves and our customer data as fully as possible.
As Senior Vice President Digital & Information, Etienne is responsible for Hager Group’s digital strategy and its implementation in every area and process of our company. Born in Alsace, with a degree in mechanical engineering, Etienne joined Hager Group in April 2018. He previously held similar roles at Brasseries Kronenbourg and the Copenhagen-based Carlsberg Group, where he introduced a new digital operating model.
Countries with the highest and lowest cyber attack rates
All illustrations in this chapter: Finances Online