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Tech & Innovation
JAN 29, 2018

The Hidden Costs of Advancements at CES

By Miko Tan
iStock photo/EduLeite

CES, an epic annual trade show hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, brings the latest technology to the public eye. 2018 was no exception, with 5G, AI (specifically NLP, or natural language processing), IoT, and AR taking center stage. Architects, engineers, and developers will have to start developing new spaces with these trends in mind – IoT, in particular.

Exciting? Certainly! Free? Hardly.

The security aspects of these devices and the new communications landscape they are enabling are largely overlooked amid all the excitement.

When asked about basic security implementations, both startups and larger companies alike tended to pass security off as something to be considered later, something unimportant to the technology itself. It was obvious the developers were not looking to address questions about the possible risks of new technologies.

If they’re not worried, why should we be?

Peering into the networks connecting these devices, and indeed breaking into such networks for nefarious purposes, is much easier than most people would imagine. Many devices at CES utilized open wireless protocols and insecure communication standards – the type of flaws that would allow any malicious entity full control of the entire system. Imagine the system is security camera system. Prioritize getting these products out there first and patching the security later has a clear flaw: it comes after your system and privacy have already been compromised.

These are real situations with real implications. With the developers treating security risks like an afterthought, it’s up to private firms to pick up the slack.

For security-minded IT experts, that means opportunity.

Take TeamRed, the startup that I co-founded. We’re designing a single, cost-effective solution for the home or office that will secure the privacy and devices of people throughout the world. Our goal is to free everyone from the worries of identity theft, ransomware, and other online threats that are more prevalent now than ever. Perhaps next year TeamRed will have a voice at CES to further raise awareness and balance the debate about the importance of security.