The next phase of digital evolution is themed “connected” – connected cars, connected homes, and connected humans (with intelligent body parts like wireless enabled pacemakers). As businesses race to bring new connected products or to make intelligent existing products using internet enabled sensors, wireless, cloud management and mobile apps, they still seem to not realize the criticality of fool proofing these systems against cyber threats.
The risks have now extended beyond purely financial and reputation losses to threats which affect human lives. As the world digitizes, cyber threats that damage property, cause physical harm and even kill will materialize at a scale that is virtually impossible to contain.
An early indication is the recent recall of 1.4m vehicles by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the world’s seventh largest automaker, to fix a vulnerability that allowed hackers to use the cellular network to electronically control vital functions. Functions, which when manipulated could shut the engine down while it was being driven down the highway, take control of the steering wheel and disable the brakes. Similar threats would materialize if hackers were able to find flaws in a wireless pacemakers or other such devices.
Readying oneself to face the uncertainty that the increasing cyber-connectivity brings is not only a safeguard but a move that will have financial benefits. At the moment, Kenya has very few cyber warriors- the sort of guys who can be called in to not only recover your system from a crush but insulate it against imminent attacks. That is why we at Kenvision Techniks have been in the forefront in championing cyber-security and have even gone ahead to bring in cyber experts to train young minds on hacking techniques and countermeasures.