The Dinosaurs Of Cybersecurity Are Planes, Power Grids And Hospitals

July 10, 2015

Wesley Wineberg

As we continue down the path toward complete connectivity — in which all devices, appliances and networks connect to each other and the Internet — it is evident that much of our longstanding technology can no longer keep up.

And it’s not an issue affecting only tech companies and web-connected devices, it’s affecting systems and infrastructures that most would expect to be the safest in the world. Even airplanes are at risk, and the recent breach of the Office of Personnel Management demonstrates that government networks can be breached as easily as those in the private sector.

Even though recent incidents may have been a surprise to the general public, it wasn’t for my team or me. The only surprise is that we are not hearing about these attacks more often. It’s no secret that companies are hacked way more often than they report (or even realize). These systems have always been vulnerable; it is only now, when “cybersecurity” has become top-of-mind for leadership in government and enterprises alike, that the incidents happening every day are garnering broader awareness.

Shiny new features and network connectivity are what customers are demanding in products; with security simply as an assumption. We layer new connected capabilities atop aged infrastructures and machines grounded in old technology, only to introduce huge risks that previously never existed. Vendors of critical systems and infrastructures are used to their systems being operated in isolated environments, far away from hostile network traffic.

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