The world is full of connected devices – and more are coming. In 2017, there were an estimated 8.4 billion internet-enabled thermostats, cameras, streetlights and other electronics. By 2020 that number could exceed 20 billion, and by 2030 there could be 500 billion or more. Because they'll all be online all the time, each of those devices – whether a voice-recognition personal assistant or a pay-by-phone parking meter or a temperature sensor deep in an industrial robot – will be vulnerable to a cyberattack and could even be part of one. Today, many "smart" internet-connected devices are made by large companies with well-known brand names, like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung, which have both the technological systems and the marketing incentive to fix any security problems quickly.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning is making its way into more security products, helping organizations and individuals automate certain tasks required to keep their services and information safe. Kashyap, the senior vice president and chief product officer at Cylance--a cybersecurity firm known for its use of AI--doesn't view AI and machine learning as a replacement for human workers but rather as a supplemental service that can enable those workers to do their job more efficiently. He said there were now "billions of pieces of malware" in the wild, and "well thought-out cyber campaigns" being carried out on the regular, with targeted threats directed at individuals and organizations that require a more efficient way to check the validity of code and defend against attacks. With a widening gap between the number of security professionals needed compared to the number available--a shortage of more than 1.5 million is expected by 2020--Kashyap determined the issue no longer just required a human scale solution; it needed a computing solution.
Futuristic technologies are being adopted at an unprecedented rate -- millions of smart speakers are being sold across the U.S., smart homes are in the making which deploy several internet-of-things devices, and self-driving vehicles are being tested across many states. But even as these technologies are coming ever closer to realization, we haven't yet assessed their usage, impact and security protocols fully. While these technologies become commonplace, the security aspect, especially, has been largely ignored both by the government and the companies backing them. That said, the government has recently begun to act on the issue, making a start with the security guidelines for smart homes. Still, the little bit they have done, like the proposed The Internet Of Things Cybersecurity law, is inadequate as these guidelines cannot be a one-time exercise; they need to be updated periodically -- at least every quarter -- after assessing the risk environment.