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Cyber Security: Learning from the Movies

Cyber Security: Learning from the Movies

As a lover of lean thinking, I appreciate any development that simplifies my life. Consequently, my heart skips with delight when I pay for anything using my “contactless” debit card and love when I can pay for an iTunes download merely using my thumb print on my iPhone.

However, not everyone I know is keen on such helpful additions.  I regularly am drawn into a debate with my friend who is highly suspicious of contactless technology for instance – “what if your card get’s stolen?” “what if someone steals your details just by standing next to you?”. I usually combat such statements by stating that it’s more dangerous to constantly input your pin in public, there are spending limits etc. But obviously, cyber security is a problem whether it’s people stealing your identity  or copying the keycode on your car 

Whilst it can be said that the exponential growth in technological capability aids cyber criminals’ activities, I cannot believe that these same advances are not being passed onto the innocent consumer, making the internet a safer place to be.

To me, the digital enhancements within the world we live in is making everything seem more and more like Tom Cruise’s 2002 film Minority Report. In that film, adverts addressed people by name as they walked past and information was accessed by air gestures and voice recognition.

After some googling, it seems that Spielberg established a “2054 thinktank” of noted cyber luminaries to help to create a plausible “future reality” as opposed to a more traditional “science fiction” setting.  The thinktank worked, as so many of the futuristic features of that film are already part of our reality, indeed, in 2010 the Guardian published an article entitled “Why Minority Report was Spot On

So what about some of the more extreme aspects of the film? Human “precogs” who are able to see into the future, predict crime and enable criminals to be prosecuted BEFORE they actually commit a crime? Well whilst I’d question whether the human race will evolve to possess psychic powers in the short term (!), it seems to me highly sensible, if deeply controversial, to develop mechanisms to analyse cyber activity to the extent where it can predict future criminal activity. Some might say that counter terrorism units already use these methods.

It also seems likely that the very fabric of who we are will be used within cyber security – Nymi is an electro cardiogram device which is able to confirm identity using our unique heartbeats –  It doesn’t seem long before computers will be able to check the very DNA of who we are in order to determine that we are indeed, who we say we are.


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