Not only is the elephant in the room, but it is eating and growing. And I mean growing rapidly. What is this elephant, you ask? It is the lack of network security and Internet privacy. I can already hear the muttering and stifled groans from the audience. But hear me out. Security and privacy is more important today than ever before, because our technology is advancing so rapidly. Our lives are getting so “smart” that now we have thermostats and refrigerators with WiFi signals. But are they protected? And how?
"When there's an elephant in the room, you can't pretend it isn't there and just discuss the ants."
A Golden Elephant?
Dave Evans, a 24-year Cisco Systems man, predicts in a company white paper that by next year 30 billion pieces of technology will be connected to the Internet. While most end-users can explain the cool functions of their latest gadget, chances are we don’t know if automatic software updates are enabled. We have no clue if our usage data is being sold to the highest bidder. EULA’s and Terms of Agreement have become mere check boxes standing between us and our newest toy. As a society, we have either forgotten about or knowingly ignored what should have been gospel all along–our digital footprint.
It’s actually no small wonder, with so many companies hell-bent on creating the impossible to feed the insatiable appetite of the end-user. Since the 1990’s, when the U.S. government threatened to break apart the Microsoft “monopoly”, start-ups and corporations alike have been prying open the doors of our homes one gadget at a time. The demand for new technology has skyrocketed, causing more breakthroughs, upsets, and stock market fluctuations than ever before. As a result of this mayhem, blackening the news in the shadows, the grim statistics from cyber and security experts run crimson.
Data collection continues to eclipse new milestones, creating juicy targets for hackers. Petabytes of this digital gold are fed back from corporate and consumer networks alike for analysis and resale. Meanwhile, the victims of identity theft, ransomware, malware, and corporate data collection fall silently to the side, their stories untold. Yet security and privacy is easily within reach. It only takes an extra five or ten minutes to change those browser settings, create that new router password, or make sure that e-commerce website is HTTPS protected.
The mission of Safe This Home is to help each other maintain control over our digital world so together we can provide an intelligent, informed future for our children. Feel free to subscribe to the CyberBlade for blunt but honest feedback on the digital dangers we face today. Help me defeat the proverbial elephant, and thank you for reading! I look forward to your comments below.
Upcoming: Part 2–From The Wall Out