We are living in an intimately connected world. Everything from food processing equipment to the household refrigerator, power grids to power dams are all increasingly interconnected. Solutions architects are hard at work analyzing patterns and designs to develop solutions for keeping this inter connectivity safe.
In our quickly-developing and ever-changing world, though, what ought we to be concerned about with cybersecurity?
Ubiquity of Cybersecurity Problems
Consumer technologies are changing faster than solutions architects and software developers can keep up. And while people are becoming more aware of the issue (our spending on electronic security services is growing by about 4.5% per year), we?re still far behind.
Nearly everything that connects to the internet is capable of being hacked given enough time and expertise. Of course the sheer number of things connected means that many people will go along blissfully unaware of potential cybersecurity issues because their own devices remain untouched. But for those who are watching, the fact that everything from plane systems to pacemakers, cars to home alarm systems, power grids to mobile banking apps have been hacked is alarming.
And the problems are only growing as cyberattacks increase globally. Whether it?s a cyber criminal looking to steal information, a malicious hacker looking to wreak havoc, a nation state trying to attack another country, or a politically motivated group of hacktivists, our information and connectivity are constantly under attack.
Ubiquity of Connectivity
Today about 13 billion total devices are connected to the internet, and that number is expected to grow to 50 billion by 2020. RFID tags are being used more and more often to communicate data and track objects. By 2021, an estimated 209 billion things will be communicating via RFID signals; all of them just begging hackers to develop new and better ways to skim them.
IT security recruiters are constantly recruiting for cybersecurity, and solutions architects are always working on ways to protect these items. But the enormous number and variety of devices being developed and connected every day means that though solutions are regularly implemented by software developers, new solutions are always needed. And many people, businesses, and even governments are connecting old and new technologies, which creates unique cybersecurity issues.
Ubiquity of Dependence
Not only do we have a lot of connected things: we rely on them more and more. This is true of individuals, and we are raising a whole generation of children who will not know how to operate, much less repair, a car, a refrigerator, or even a dishwasher if it is not connected. It?s also true of businesses, which are so reliant on technology that a serious hack can result in the recall of millions of items, or the loss of hundreds of thousands of customers.
More concerning, our national utility grids are increasingly dependent upon technology that must be connected to operate: and thus is open to hackers and other cybersecurity threats. Our food supply chain is also dependent upon cybersecurity, meaning that a malicious hack or even a random accident has the potential to negatively affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.
We need solutions architects actively developing ways to protect our information, devices, utilities, hospitals, and everything else that is connected in our world. We need to take the threat of cybersecurity dangers seriously and work toward solutions that ensure safety in the digital world.