The Cloud-of-Things and the Hacker Advantage

03 Jan The Cloud-of-Things and the Hacker Advantage

Will cloud computing, big data analytics and the Internet of Things improve security dramatically in 2016, or will they give hackers the advantage?

Businesses keep connecting things. In the 1990s our monolithic security perimeters – firewalls – locked out the rest of the world and protected our corporate network fiefdoms. But not for long. Firewall makers quickly had to satisfy customers who needed to connect their protected networks to business partners, customers. The interconnections kept coming and for many years pundits have proclaimed that there is no perimeter, there is no privacy.

Today, businesses connect to partners & customers, and also to marketing and media outlets, social media, supply chains, and much more. The Internet of Things simply extends those connections to the heavy equipment in the manufacturing plant, the medical devices in the hospital, the sensors on cars and airplanes and locomotives. From now on, business can and will connect to anything.

Those connections are not just for kicks. Connections share data. Data, once organized, becomes information. Information that is usable or actionable is called intelligence. Every system around us, from a weather station to a cell phone tower, to the video analytics that track shopper behavior in the aisles – all of it grows business intelligence, and better business decisions.

Here is where it gets messy. Intelligence is valuable. Not only to the businesses collecting and acting on it, but also to bad actors who want to steal or corrupt it. When it comes to big data, the value is too great to ignore – by good guys and bad guys equally. That is why I tell my clients that risks will always grow and always seem a little scary, but not to fear, because every risk is manageable.

Read more of my comments in Forbes

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