Safer, but not immune

Beatriz Sanz Baños    30 July, 2018

Technological advances, and specifically IoT, are designed to give us more time, increase our comfort, and improve our quality of life. The digital transformation has managed improved our lives and to brought us closer to a society that we thought existed only in the future not too long ago. We also imagined that in this type of society crime would be greatly reduced because the general improvement of things would also extend to security. Although this is true as increasingly stronger systems against criminals are developed, the thing is human beings are very cunning and they always find ways to break those systems.

We have an example in a video created by Wired two years ago. In it we can see how two hackers take full control of an autonomous vehicle doing with it what they wanted. They reduced the role of the driver to a mere spectator of a possible tragedy. Luckily, this video was recorded only to show the dangers of certain IoT advances and there was no need to regret any incident. It shows us is that every digitalization is susceptible to a cyber-attack.

However, not all the examples are negative. Months ago the motorcycle brand Honda had a problem in Peru. The problem was that it was too good, incredible as it may seem. Their motorcycles, having a reputation for good quality, were the most stolen in the country, so customers began buying from other brands to avoid losing their motorcycles. To solve this problem, Telefónica and IoT came up with a system that, with the push of a button, located the lost motorcycle and returned it to its owner. It’s called Fleet Management. This way nobody had to face the thieves, which would give us all a bit of trouble, and the motorcycles would return as if by magic to their owner. It worked and Honda’s motorcycles were bought again.

Staying in the automotive sector, the incorporation of telemetry (measure magnitudes and send them to distant receivers) not only allows knowing the location of the vehicle, but also increases the speed of assistance in case of accident, it performs preventive maintenance, and shows the fastest route for every moment of the day. The implications go beyond the safety of citizens. These advances also allow significant improvements in trade. The fact that both the employer and the consumer are able to know the situation and location of the order positively affects the well-known customer experience (level of satisfaction of a user / client after testing the services of a company).

For reasons like this, Internet users of things should not be afraid to keep betting on innovation. Luckily for them, connected objects will increase almost three times its number in the future and so the investment in security will also grow.

So far, it has not been possible to develop a technology that eliminates the evil of the people and thus ends the crime. That said, it is reducing it or at least it is making it more difficult for the criminals. The future is here, do you want to be part of it?

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