Smart devices and connected technology continue to be a major theme at CES, from smart TVs to self-driving cars. But as more and more devices connect to the internet, more are at risk of getting hacked.
In the panel “Getting Hacked: IoT and Beyond,” a panel of cybersecurity and policy experts discussed the challenges of keeping our devices secure. Things got technical very quickly, but there were a few major takeaways that we think consumers should know about.
Here are the top three things we learned from the Getting Hacked panel.
1. Risk is growing faster than answers
“I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Glenn Gerstell, General Counsel of the National Security Agency. The pace of technological innovation is moving faster than our ability to stop new threats. Cloud computing, 5G, and the internet of things (IoT) are all exciting innovations for our personal lives, but they come at the cost of expanding risk. Gerstell said that experts expect $8 trillion in economic losses over the next five years due to cybersecurity threats.
2. Collaboration is key
All of the panelists agreed that the only way forward is facing these risks together. Chris Murphy, Chief Privacy Officer and Lead Counsel for General Motors’ Cybersecurity and Privacy team, said that GM works with government agencies, other auto manufacturers, and leading tech companies just to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats. We’ve already seen a lot of collaboration between companies at CES this year — including an uncharacteristic partnership between Apple and Amazon. These partnerships may be more common going forward as companies look to protect themselves from the ever-advancing tide of cyber threats.
3. The future isn’t entirely bleak
Near the end of the panel, Gerstell pushed back against the gloomy tone of the conversation, saying, “I’m confident in our ability to address the risk and manage the risk.” The panelists praised organizations’ progress in planning and preparing for breaches. Describing “tabletops” (simulations of major breaches), Caroline Krass, SVP and General Counsel of General Insurance and Deputy General Counsel for AIG, said, “It’s like an athlete practicing a sport: The more that you’ve run through drills and scenarios, the better the muscle memory will be whenever something bad does happen.” Even though the threats are growing more numerous, companies are also getting better at protecting your information as they learn how to better protect themselves.
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