The war has been going on throughout the 21st century, and it is not the unofficially declared War on Terror. It is the war that has been conducted in cyberspace, and has been heating up over the past decade. National infrastructure systems have been attacked, including power plants and water systems. On a more personal level, businesses and individuals have discovered the harm a ransomware attack can do their business and personal finances.
While we may be looking for the latest consumer technology to emerge, cybersecurity tops the list of concerns for both government and business. The goal of cyber attack and defense is to discover the weaknesses and either exploit or defend against them. Experts say that the current technology can eventually be exploited given the time and resources, which both individual hackers and bad actor nations have both at their disposal.
The answer lies in developing new technologies that will be difficult for groups to exploit with a significant amount of money and advanced technological resources. Here are five emerging technologies being developed and tested to create a virtual impenetrable wall.
Though many people have heard of the concept, the concept is transforming into a reality. Major computer companies like IBM are already building them. The major difference between the computer you have in front of you and a quantum computer is that quantum computers do not use the binary “on-off” logic to perform computing. A bit can have a value of either 1 or 0. In quantum computing, the same bit can have the value of 1 and 0 simultaneously. This is not technically accurate because by definition a bit has only a value of 1 or 0. But without giving a lesson in quantum mechanics, the idea should be clear. This makes encryption and cryptography far more sophisticated and complicated to break into. Quantum computers can be purchased today – if you have $15 million to spend.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for some time, but what is emerging in its use in the world of cybersecurity is the application of synthesizing data. The simplest way to describe this is by an example. We notice that when the sun can be seen the sky is blue, but when the sun sets the sky is black. Those two facts can be synthesized to create a new piece of information – that the presence of the sun affects the color of the sky. If we take a flashlight at night and shine it into the sky, the sky does not change its color to blue. We can continue to add information and it will affect the answer that comes out of the other end. Two factor authentication is one way to translate this into practical cybersecurity, but what is in the works is far more complicated, involving multiple layers of information and authentication.
Blockchain cybersecurity at its simplest is a peer to peer network system. The newer terminology calls it decentralized computing, but no matter what you call it at its heart is the idea of eliminating the security problems with centralized computing. The financial industry has been the forerunner of this emerging technology, using it to process financial transactions between two parties that have no need to add the extra step of a centralized system. All that is required for a successful and safe transaction is that the two parties recognize each other. The blockchain cybersecurity measure is all about identifying who is on the other end. The data exchange between the two parties cannot be copied, so only they know the transaction that is taking place.
Symmetric Key Encryption
Many people have heard of SSL technology, which is used when loading up your browser or connecting to an Internet server. The digital key that is created is installed on both connected computers that are sending and receiving data. The key must be the same, otherwise data transmission will cease. These keys are known as Public Encryption Keys. But the emerging technology is being called VIBE – Verifiable Identity Based Encryption. The technology is not designed to be impenetrable, but instead requires a significant amount of time and effort for a hacker or bad actor to decipher. Instead of using the Public Encryption Keys the security will be present in the application layer, so the need for publicly transmitting data using keys will be significantly reduced or eliminated. Perhaps its biggest advantage is that it can be put into use sooner than later.
Anyone who owns a smartphone or mobile device hopes for one thing – a longer battery life. That is because electricity is what makes the digital world go. What photonics does is move from electrical signals to light particles to transfer data. This connects to the idea of quantum computing because a light particle always has a “partner.” If the partner is missing, the light particle technically does not exist. In other words, by using photonics a cybercriminal would have to find a way to violate the laws of physics – quantum physics to be more precise. You can see how this theory has been applied in the real world at the University of Sydney by reading the story here.