CONNECTIVITY 2021: NEW HORIZONS
Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Politics
At our first CONNECTIVITY 2021 event, William Blair analysts and industry experts discussed cybersecurity, privacy, and politics and how they are affecting the investing landscape.
Forgery, Embezzlement, Secure Documents, Cybercrime, and Scams Authority; Featured in hit film Catch Me If You Can
Cybercrime, Identity Theft, and Scams
Simple strategies can thwart today’s cybercriminals. With vivid examples, Frank Abagnale reveals how identity thieves work, why passwords aren’t keeping you safe, and why safeguarding yourself is particularly important today. Audiences praise Frank’s entertaining and informative sessions brimming with practical takeaways.
Hackers Are Watching
In our haste to get great technology to market, we don’t thoroughly vet it—and smart-home technology (including thermostats, cameras, TVs, and game consoles) is particularly vulnerable to hacks.
The Bitcoin Risk
Holding cryptocurrency will make you the target of hackers—and the stolen money cannot be recovered. We can live in a world with cryptocurrency or a world without ransomware, but not both.
The Dark Side of Social Media
We complain about identity theft, then give hackers everything they need via social media. If you tell Facebook your date and place of birth, hackers have 98% of what they need to steal your identity.
Founder of ChinaDEBATE
Nobel Laureate in Economics; Stanford University Professor
Partner, Portfolio Manager, Co-Director of Global Equity Research, William Blair
Vivian Lin Thurston
CFA, Partner, Portfolio Manager, William Blair
The New Cold War: China
In the current environment, it’s easy for investors to anchor on concerns about Chinese geopolitical tensions and increasing policy risk. But are these risks overshadowing the growth opportunity in China? In this session, our panelists with extensive experience in China take us on a journey through the evolution of the Chinese system and discuss how investors can successfully navigate related challenges.
Rise of the Middle Kingdom
For thousands of years, China considered itself a center of power. That waned, and Riddell believes China now wants to return to dominance in Asia; reestablish control over territories it considers greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan; regain trade influence; and command world respect.
Rarely does a power rise to global dominance without tension, according to Spence, but there is no evidence that China wants to export its governance system globally. It respects other countries’ form of governance and doesn’t like disrespect for its own form of governance.
Economics: A Driving Force
Geopolitical dynamics must be viewed in concert with domestic agenda, says Thurston. China wants to become economically prosperous. It feels threatened (for example, by the United States limiting its access to semiconductors) and is dramatically changing its economy to deal with such threats.
Author of Privacy is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford
Privacy is Power
As the data economy grows in power, our privacy is being eroded by big tech and governments. In this session, Carissa Véliz explains why that matters and what we can do about it. Her philosophical perspective on the politics of privacy and practical solutions is relevant for both policymakers and investors.
The desire to control data goes deeper than the search for profit. Those who control data have power, and the more power you have, the more you get to decide what counts as knowledge.
Data collection creates corporate risk. Hackers want companies’ data, and data breaches expose companies to liability. Business models that collect unnecessary data thus have an expiration date.
Even the most capitalistic societies prohibit the sale of certain items—organs, votes, and humans, for example. As a society, we should ask if personal data should be similarly off-limits.
Joel Fulton, Ph.D.
Co-founder and CEO, Lucidum
IP Architects, LLC
Chief Marketing Officer,
Varonis Systems Inc.
Partner, Director of U.S. Growth and Core Equity Research and Research Analyst, William Blair
Barbarians at the Digital Gate: Can They Be Stopped?
The digital transformation of society is creating numerous opportunities for malicious actors to infiltrate networks and access confidential information. Can organizations defend themselves from seemingly never-ending attacks? If so, what are the best approaches? And what are the implications for investors?
COVID-19, which drove workers online, dramatically accelerated the growth of the security technology market. It is now valued at $75 billion, and including services, rises to $140 billion.* That’s behind only customer relationship management and database technology.
As data have moved to the cloud, security has evolved from a castle-and-moat approach to a focus on securing individual identities and critical assets. This is positive for end-point protection and cloud providers, but negative for on-premise security and firewalls.
Have competitive moats changed as security has moved to the cloud? Do cloud models, data, or network affect the “leapfrog” risk that has historically limited market consolidation in security? Does the need for integrated security move the market toward suite-based solutions?
CFA, Global Research Analyst, William Blair
Peter Holten Mühlmann
Founder and CEO, Trustpilot
Beyond Bricks and Clicks:
The Privacy and Policy Implications of Connected Commerce
Online or offline consumer journeys are coming together in an omnichannel form we call “connected commerce.” But as data and insights are shared across the ecosystem, new considerations emerge—targeting consumers based on their preferences, managing consumer data, and adapting to evolving regulations. It is more important than ever for companies to understand, navigate, and adapt to these changes.
The connection of offline and online shopping experiences reduces friction. Customers don’t find products and services; products and services find customers. But there are social implications. You give up an element of control over your data to get ads that make your life easier.
A connected ecosystem requires a “trust layer.” Companies are now offering solutions that provide transparency and thereby increase the consumers’ confidence in e-commerce (for example, sharing your experiences with online retailers via an independent third party).
Who is the ultimate owner of consumer data? Is it the consumer, the government, or social media platforms? If users own it, can they rent it out? Companies’ desire for data and related analytics will likely create new investment opportunities.
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