John McAfee, currently most prominent as a promoter of cryptocurrencies but also the founder and namesake of endpoint security solutions provider McAfee Security, announced he will run for President of the United States in 2020.
This is not the first time John McAfee has decided to run for the top office; he campaigned in 2016 for the then-new Cyber Party before seeking the Libertarian Party nomination. In a tweet, John McAfee declared that he would seek the Libertarian Party nomination once again and would create his own party if he did not succeed. His 2020 platform appears to focus on cryptocurrency advocacy while his previous platform featured free trade and foreign non-intervention.
You may be wondering why this piece of trivia matters to your enterprise. After all, John McAfee hasn’t been associated with McAfee Security since his resignation in 1994. His political platform, at least as it has been recently announced, makes little mention of endpoint security. The chances of his election as a third-party candidate in the United States are incredibly remote.
Yet the symbolism of John McAfee—a prominent figure in the history of cybersecurity, one of the creators of the first commercial antivirus software—in the current digital age cannot be overlooked. The lines between physical security and cybersecurity are becoming increasingly blurred. The headlines surrounding data breaches, digital privacy violations, and new malware strains have increased, demanding as much attention as other threats to the country. The culture surrounding personal data leaks and thefts is one of inevitability, fear, and resignation.
Therefore, consumers and employees alike are gravitating to authorities in cybersecurity to protect their data and conduct their business. The new wave of cyberattacks on enterprises on all sizes and industries has transformed endpoint security from a concern exclusively for information security teams to an executive-level issue that could determine the future of their company. John McAfee’s presidential run might just be an indicator of that sea change. His name is still associated with cybersecurity through his history. Whether or not he actually is, he can be seen as an authority, and that might attract more attention to his campaign.
What role the government should or can play in that culture change is highly debatable and will largely come down to personal beliefs, but the government can be a good indicator of public interest and demands. In this current digital paradigm, cybersecurity is a national security issue on which future and current candidates and administrators will be held accountable. The public will be looking for cybersecurity experts in high positions of power to reassure them of their online safety.
Your enterprise will be judged just as harshly if it fails to treat endpoint security as a major concern.
Therefore, if you haven’t already, you should be investigating your current endpoint security platform and whether it is time for an upgrade. Your endpoint security solutions should be capable of handling new malware and non-malware attack strains and potential including endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities for detection capabilities. This isn’t just a matter of staving off a few hackers—it’s about fostering consumer and employee trust, bolstering your reputation, and ultimately protecting your bottom line. Making cybersecurity a part of your branding messaging, in much the same way you would incorporate general safety, can plant the seeds for future profits.
This article is not an endorsement of John McAfee for political office. This article is concerned with the inevitable sea change in political and corporate culture that cybersecurity concerns will facilitate. If the government is poised to accept endpoint security as a national security concern, your enterprise should be viewing it as a financial security issue.
People professionally and personally are looking for authority in cybersecurity. They’re scared by the dark turn the digital world has taken over the past view years. Authorities in cybersecurity are poised to reach a level of success never before seen—possibly even in the political realm.
So maybe it’s time your enterprise makes itself an authority in cybersecurity.