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If you don’t secure the future today you lose

2015-08-05 18:05

Spam-sending fridges, cars hijacked remotely, in-flight shenanigans, opening car doors and hacked skateboards.

This world of tech we live in is a bit of a mess isn’t it?

I’ve written before about how the slew of new gadgets coming onto the market pose far too many questions about information security and also privacy (think fitness trackers).

But there is a third aspect, often overlooked, that needs addressing too: physical security.

I’m sure you are all familiar with drones – people in the security industry seem to be especially keen to fly their own, and the rest of you are probably aware of Amazon’s parcel delivery ambitions.

But what are the implications of having so many devices flying around the country?

While one of the most obvious risks concerns aircraft and the potential for a massively fatal collision, there is also the potential for terrorism and murder. While there are no cases of such, at least not yet, a low-flying drone in close proximity to the White House will surely have awakened thoughts of how such an attack could be possible in the future.

Then there is the question of privacy. We know that we own (or rent) our houses. We know where our physical boundaries intersect with those of our neighbours or the road outside, but do we own the airspace above our properties? What can we do if a drone invades what we may consider to be our own airspace?

Such questions may be at the forefront of minds within the Mansfield correctional institution in Ohio right now – a local news source has reported how a drone flew over the prison last week and dropped off a parcel for an inmate. Far from being a package of home comforts (arguably), the delivery actually contained prison currency – heroin, marijuana and tobacco. And lots of it.

As you may imagine, the intended recipient wasn’t the only interested party when the delivery was made – the Mansfield News Journal reports how over 200 inmates huddled round to sign the delivery confirmation, so to speak.

Unsurprisingly, a bit of a ruck ensued and nine people ended up solitary confinement.

What can prison officials do about that?

Drones are small – would they even be able to pick one up on radar? I highly doubt it, so that leaves guards in the position where they have to physically spot the threat. Even then, how do they respond? Can they shoot the drone down? Not in Kentucky, that’s for sure.

So what options do they have?

Good question, and one I don’t have any answers to. But it does pose another, broader set of questions, doesn’t it.

Namely, how do you defend against new threats? Is your organisation reactive, patching technical and physical holes in response to known threats, or is it proactive, ready to deal with any new attack that comes its way (as far as possible)?

Is your company even looking beyond securing its computing devices? If not, what damage could a physical attack wreak? Imagine a social engineer walking into your premises and then walking out again with all your intellectual property. Have you given such an attack any thought?

The future is welcoming, it brings endless new possibilities but it also brings an ever-increasing number of challenges.

How we secure and police those challenges is a question that has to be answered today, not tomorrow.

Source: 2372=p?/hctawytiruces/ei.gnitlusnochb

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