Many IT and security professionals will tell you that one of the biggest threats to sensitive data and equipment is not the fact that hackers are just so smart and determined, but that the security is always one step behind the technology.
Hardware and software developers do what they can to launch with built-in security features, but there’s no telling how to handle a threat until you know where those threats are coming from, and you can’t be certain of where those threats are coming from until you’ve already launched. Security, like your immune system, is all about adaptation. Here are some just-over-the-horizon security threats that we may need to combat in the coming years:
The FDA approved the DEKA arm, nicknamed Luke, for robot-arm transplant recipient Luke Skywalker, in May of 2014. The arm, developed by DARPA, has led to some speculation of hackers targeting prosthetic limbs. We already know that you can hack a pacemaker, so what’s to stop people from taking control of a pair of prosthetic legs?
Right now, an Internet-of-Things enabled automated home is a rare sight. A handful of people in Silicon Valley may enjoy curtains that open at seven o’clock on the dot and coffee machines that know just how you like it, but it’s not the norm.
Then again, a computer in every home wasn’t the norm twenty years ago, and smartphones were but a dream in 2001. It’s easy to imagine pranksters turning your refrigerator off remotely and letting your food spoil while you’re away for the weekend, or blasting your stereo at full volume while you’re trying to sleep.
There has been a lot of speculation of late regarding neural implants, connecting the brain directly to the internet with the appropriate machinery. As crazy as it sounds, we’re not that far off.
The major threat with a neural-implant-connected internet might not even be a malicious hacker, but something as simple as a web-surfer suffering a stroke while connected with thousands of other users.
Self-driving Car Hacks
The self-driving car sounds like a great idea, but nobody seems to be willing to rush it into mass-production, and for good reason. The roads aren’t ready, and neither is the technology. Researchers funded by the Defense Department recently ran an experiment and found that it was incredibly easy to hack into a self-driving car and take control.
There’s a lot of new technology on the horizon, and a lot of it is on the brink of becoming as commonplace as the television and the laptop. It’s a brave new world out there, and there’s no way to ensure that your first self-driving car is unhackable, but the good news is that with every successful hack, we learn more about how to prevent it from happening again.