“If you control the code, you control the world. This is the future that awaits us.”
– Marc Goodman
As anyone who reads this space knows, I’m a big fan of the Internet of Things, and yet equally worried about security in this brave new world.
A new book “Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It” emphasises these points and makes some suggestions.
What struck me is that many of what crimes Goodman labels as “future crimes” are already happening all around us. From the recent ISIS hack of French TV station to the epic hacks of the past year on major brands from Sony to Target, Home Depot and Chase. We’re definitely already at the intersection of connected technology and cybercrime.
“We’ve gone ahead and wired this world but failed to secure it,” Goodman said in a tweet. “We can but it’s going to be hard.”
Goodman writes about identity theft, stolen data, smartphone hacks, and speculates worryingly about the future. He sees this getting worse, of course, with the advent of smart houses, smart cars, and an increasingly wired world.
The recent wave of cybercrimes illustrates his warnings, and is one of the reasons it’s become a hit. The book was rated as Amazon’s Best Book of the Month in March and is a bestseller on the New York Times “Crime and Punishment” list.
When he writes about the future of technology, from smart pacemakers to 3-D technology, and the shadowy figures out to exploit the weaknesses of these devices, it can read like science fiction. But, as we’re fully aware at AVG, a connected future is rapidly approaching and it’s reality, not fiction.
Goodman does offer some positives, which is what made the book interesting to me: Without action this would be a litany of gloom and doom. He suggests the sharing of information between public and private sectors, something President Obama has been strongly advocating. Goodman also envisions a “Manhattan Project” type organization combining the best and brightest from the private and governmental sector.
Goodman also says it is crucial to increase the technical knowledge of ordinary people, who use technology on an everyday basis. I think this is a very good idea. From our Clinton Global Initiative Smart User Mission to our Magda and Mo ebook series for children, at AVG we view it as part of our mission to we teach internet safety to the new generation of users coming online. As Goodman points out, being tech savvy is only going to increase in importance.