Our world is more connected than ever these days, and increasingly, it’s not just people who are jacked into the Internet. With the rise of machine-to-machine technology, computers and devices are talking to each other directly, creating what some have dubbed the “Internet of things.” When your car chats with your insurance company, your shipping container pings a tracking computer or your oil tank calls for a refill on its own, these acts contribute to interconnectivity, and create a new level of risk.
All of these connections create security problems. As Scott Taylor, vice president and chief privacy officer at Hewlett-Packard puts it, “If the castle has one door, you have one thing to protect,” he explains. “If it has 50 doors, you have multiplied the potential for vulnerability, especially when those gates are guarded by different people.”
So, with companies eager to get a piece of this lucrative new pie and hacker groups such as Anonymous ready to swoop in and take advantage of vulnerabilities, what can businesses do to shore up their defenses? One option is to call the Cavalry.
The Wall Street Journal recently spoke with the founders of a group called “We Are the Cavalry.” The group’s mission statement is to help reduce the risks involved when people and businesses use Internet-enabled devices. According to the founders of the group, “white-hat” hackers frequently find vulnerabilities in cybersecurity and report these flaws to companies. Often, tech companies can take advantage of these reports, but as more and more manufacturers get involved in selling Internet-enabled devices, many businesses do not know how to address the concerns.
The Cavalry wants to position itself as a sort of white-hat standard-setting agency, working with companies to increase awareness of cybersecurity issues and shore up defenses. With a future that promises more and more gates to protect, it will be a relief to call the cavalry to help guard them.
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