3 Lessons Tech-Driven Dystopias Can Teach Us About Cybersecurity

Pop culture has an infatuation with technology and hacking. Which makes sense; tech is booming and the possibilities are endless. But while most movies and books make hackers into geeky anti-heroes with farfetched computer-based superpowers, there have been a few more accurate portrayals of cyber insecurity.

While the below examples are fictional, they still provide insight into the real-world threats posed by technology. Keep reading to see how to prevent cyberattacks from impacting your business.

1984 & Cyber Surveillance
By now, you are probably familiar with the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell. The story establishes a world of intrigue as a totalitarian government spies on its inhabitants through two-way telescreens, audio recording and undercover agents.

Published in 1949, the book remains to be extremely influential. Following Edward Snowden's revelation of the NSA's mass surveillance program in 2013, many privacy proponents pointed to Orwell and his cautionary tale about a tyrannical government.

Of course, Big Brother isn't the only one interested in your online movement. Hackers have notoriously exploited webcams, keyloggers and spyware to snoop on their victims.

If you are looking to obscure your activities from prying eyes, try implementing a Tor browser and VPN to stay anonymous online.

Psycho-Pass & Threat Anticipation
Data and analytics are increasingly being used to anticipate threats and provide solutions, especially in business. But what if these same rules were applied to crime?

In the cyberpunk series Psycho-Pass, the police are armed with specialty AI handguns that can only be fired at citizens with higher-than-acceptable "crime coefficients" - a measurement meant to detect the likelihood of criminal intent.

Back in the real world, artificial intelligence is aiding humans in the fight against cybercrime. AI2, a machine learning system developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is learning to differentiate between legitimate user activity and malicious hacker activity. As results are tweaked by human analysts, AI2 becomes more accurate at flagging cyberattacks before they happen.

Ghost in the Shell & Body Hacking
Ghost in the Shell is a rather complicated anime about a futuristic world where the human body can be augmented or completely replaced by cybernetic parts. This raises major questions regarding the border between man and machine, the human soul and the legal ramifications of such a society (what happens when a criminal hacks someone else's body to commit a crime?).

While we are a long way off from complete human cybernetization, we are beginning to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into prosthetics and medical devices; which opens patients to digital threats. For example, a connected pacemaker developed by St. Jude Medical was discovered to be vulnerable to cyberattacks which could deplete the battery or severely shock a patient's heart.

Luckily the flaw was remedied before anyone was victimized, but it demonstrates the need for greater security in IoT enabled devices.

Will our fiction and fantasies one day become reality? Will our technologies eventually outpace our entertainment? No one knows for sure, but one thing is certain - you need to protect your business from digital threats. Do the right thing and invest in a cyber insurance policy from CyberPolicy today!

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