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February 2018, Vol. 7, No. 1

What's our future if we don't secure IoT devices?

I was recently asked about the most pressing IT challenge in 2018. At first, I was going to throw out a pat answer, something like dealing with big data or finally deploying hybrid cloud architecture. But those aren't actually all that difficult to pull off anymore. Then I thought about how some people like to be irrationally scared about the future, artificial intelligence in particular. But AI really isn't the scary part. It's the blind trust we already tend to put into black-box algorithms and short-sighted local optimizations that inevitably bring about unintended consequences. We should be much more afraid of today's human ignorance than tomorrow's AI. Instead, what I came up with as the hard, impending problem for IT is how to adequately secure the fast-expanding internet of things. To be clear, I interpret IoT rather broadly to include existing mobile devices -- e.g., smartphones that can measure us constantly with multiple sensors and GPS -- connected consumer gadgets and household items, and the burgeoning realm of ...

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