Algorithms drive today's world and if you are reading this commentary, they would have been instrumental in you finding it! But more seriously, they impact every aspect of business life, and not just those businesses in the tech industry. Businesses use them more and more in their everyday workings, including how to best position themselves against competitors and how to maximise their visibility and subsequent profitability. This very phenomenon is driving a great deal of regulatory interest around competition/anti-trust, financial and fraud arenas.
However, first and foremost, algorithms are a very valuable asset to businesses, even if they are in crudest form (e.g. an Excel model) and thus they need to be treated as such. There are many examples of how businesses have their intellectual property stolen and suffer the consequences - best to protect it in the first place and ensure appropriate security measures in place. More focus needs to be placed on preventing, detecting and deterring - especially when the biggest risk is from the insider and not a 'hidden' hacker!
It seems apt to quote Turing here, although out of context, it is very relevant to the insider threat:
“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”
ALGORITHMS are everywhere. They play the stockmarket, decide whether you can have a mortgage and may one day drive your car for you. They search the internet when commanded, stick carefully chosen advertisements into the sites you visit and decide what prices to show you in online shops. As Uber and Waymo will tell you, they can be the subjects of legal arguments; they cause regulatory worries too... ...computers have allowed humans to build—and execute—ever bigger and more baroque algorithmical constructs. And it turns out that, like Lego bricks, piling up enough simple instructions allows you to build far more intricate and interesting things than is apparent at first...In a nice bit of symmetry, some of the most advanced algorithms are not written by humans at all, but by other algorithms.