Passwords are so old news or are they? In an increasing world of insecurity, more than ever better security tools and more knowledge is essential to living in our technology dependent world. On a previous article, I talked about Internet security and the lack of responsibility that our data holders seem to have for our personal data. I wanted to expand that topic further by discussing our current and future in our new security-conscious world.
Good ole passwords have been the foundation of security since the early days of computing. It has gotten better with the addition of additional security questions, two-factor authentication, and even password management services. But will these be enough to keep this oldie but goodie relevant in the new age? Now that we’re more connected than ever with countless online accounts and a multitude of devices, there needs to be better and more convenient methods.
Enter Biometrics – fingerprint scanners, eyeball, face recognition, voice recognition, breathalizers, weight scanner…if it’s related to your body, then it can be used as a security tool. Biometrics have long existed in private and government sectors for years. I remember at one company I worked for, in order to enter the data centers, you must use a biometric tool that tested your weight and scanned your eyeballs…pretty cool and creepy but way more secure, convenient than remembering long passwords. Security and most importantly convenience is what’s driving the use of these body tools in our devices today. The most popular of which are fingerprint scanners. They’re now becoming standard on our phones and soon in all our cars, homes, and banks just to name a few. But what about the future? Well my vision might be that we have Brain Scanners since we do produce certain brain wave patterns that could be unique to us or even more advanced DNA scanning which might use blood or maybe less painfully, the touch of our skin.
But what about security on devices that we don’t think about such as the Internet of things. The Internet of things are devices like routers, digital thermostats, internet-connected appliances, cameras, electronic doors, basically any device that can “talk” to other devices or share information. While this tech is cool, it’s also open to malware infections and botnets that can wreak havoc and cause real harm to people. Nearly all of these devices run some type of operating systems, just like Windows or Apple computers. And when they get infected, there’s no simple patch solution to fix it and more importantly, there’s almost no way to tell when it is infected unless the consumer notices odd things happening like the camera recording when it’s not supposed to. The more serious scenario is when the devices that are hacked are more than just appliances and what I’m referring to are cars.
Automobiles are rapidly becoming computers running operating systems that can now be hacked. It wasn’t too long ago, that OnStar was hijacked. You can imagine a situation where your car is hacked and then suddenly you’re being driven to unknown destinations and the doors are now locked…scary indeed. Although all this might sound like a sci-fi movie gone wrong, it’s not all doom and gloom. The manufacturers and software producers think about these same scenarios and more especially considering the billions of dollars spent on technology. And as a byproduct of us becoming so familiar with tech, we’ll also become more aware of best security practices which will mean better security for everyone.