Our over-reliance on technology these days has been popping into my mind more often. As someone who conducts nearly 100 percent of his business over the internet – this means creating, storing, sending and receiving documents in the Cloud, not to mention sending and receiving money online – I am increasingly becoming more aware of the dangers of conducting a business that relies mostly, if not entirely, on the internet and everything that keeps it running.
Actually, it is something I would rather not have pop into my mind, but with major incidents hitting the news every day it seems like, we all must start asking ourselves an uncomfortable but necessary question: is our ever-growing reliance on digital technology putting us at greater and greater risk as things become increasingly more connected?
Hackers Are Not the Biggest Threat
Imagine a catastrophic event so big that it would cost the globe $600 to $2.6 trillion to fix the damage left in its wake. That is only the beginning of the hefty price we would face if our world was ever hit by a solar storm big enough. It isn’t a hypothetical either.
Last year, scientist revealed to the media that they were starting to prepare in the event that a solar storm hit earth that would knock out communications out for half a decade or possibly longer as well as threatening life on earth as we know it. This news barely made a buzz as people, businesses and governments went on about their daily rituals.
“Once systems start to fail, (the outages) could cascade in ways we can’t even conceive,” said Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, when discussing such an event.
What If the Digital Cloud Failed
I am one person who personally loves the cloud. It allows me to do so many things in terms of personal and business matters. Cloud technology has given birth to so many other technologies and services, with new developments popping up daily it seems. But how safe is the cloud really? What if a rogue nation the likes of North Korea were to find a way to penetrate cloud services and wreak utter havoc? Once your data is compromised, that’s it. There isn’t much else one can do.
Though most experts agree that Artificial Intelligence may never turn evil, it could very well become overly protective to the point that it takes complete control over security protocols, essentially locking out human operators. Since cloud technology is inherently connected with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, cloud technologies could end up under the control of paranoid machines who think we humans are too stupid to protect our own data.
Artificial Intelligence is now entering every facet of business, from the banking industry to sites offering Kerala tourism packages. At this point, there is nearly no business untouched by AI technology. All that data could end up inaccessible to even the site owners.
With all of that said, I really think it’s time to take whatever steps are needed to protect the data that is vital. Protocols seriously need to be put in place in the event something major occurs, whether it be hacker releasing a super virus or the sun deciding it hates our satellites.