Last week (April 12-13, 2017) I stopped by the Inform[ED] Conference hosted by CableLabs at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan. Divided into two days of events, day one offered a comprehensive overview on how the Internet of Things (IoT) is evolving—how its affected the field’s operations in security, challenges with privacy and policy, and the extents in which connected devices are currently being deployed.
The day started off with an informative and motivating speech from keynote speaker Shawn Henry, President and Chief Security Officer (CSO) of CrowdStrike. He described his future vision of the direction that IoT security is headed, along with the potential impacts insecure IoT devices may have at different levels—personal computers, smart cars, homes, cities, factories, etc. One particular statistic he reiterated was how 20-50 billion IoT devices were projected to be connected by 2020. Five years from now, Henry portrayed his vision of how sophisticated and broad IoT devices can be, but also drew attention to how fragile these networks could become if manufacturers and developers maintain the industry’s current level of quality and apathy towards IoT security.
Throughout the day, different speakers and panels took the stage that came from different backgrounds pertaining to wireless tech and security. Executives and experts from major corporate entities like Comcast, AT&T, and Microsoft spoke on topics varying from the impacts of public policy on IoT security and operations, the impacts on small businesses, and types of infiltration methods attackers can use like DDoS and ransomware. I got the chance to sit down with Rob Alderfer (CableLabs VP of Technology Policy), Mitch Ashley (Kyrio President and General Manager), James Plouffe (MobileIron Lead Solutions and Architect), and Brian Rexroad (AT&T VP of Security Platforms), who offered their insight on topics ranging from their take on what the future of IoT security holds, the collaborations between industry and government moving forward, and analyzing the tactics that modern (and future) hackers may use.
Day two primarily focused on the impact that IoT devices are going to have on the medical industry, primarily on the different security aspects. The speakers and panels discussed the pros, cons, and future challenges the technological modernization of connected healthcare would have in the future. The major topics covered included how certain people’s lifestyles could be impacted, how the digitalization and connectivity of healthcare could impact small business models, security of devices, along with issues surrounding regulations and privacy.
Day two’s keynote speaker was Simon Kos, the Chief Medical Officer of Worldwide Health for Microsoft. He gave a very engaging speech about the fundamental changes technology is bestowing on society, and how this is impacting the healthcare industry. Kos envisions a future with ubiquitous computers and artificial intelligence (AI), with the bulk of his lecture primarily focusing on how these changes will help rethink human interaction. He described a triple aim on how to modernize medical care, which he broke down into three categories—quality (improving the patient experience), access (improving the wellness of populations), and cost (lowering the per capita cost of healthcare).
Kos also broke down the digital transformation of health into four pillars- engaging patients and partners, empowering care teams, optimizing with analytics, and transforming the care continuum. Some of the topics he expressed the most enthusiasm about were the future role of algorithms in identifying early conditions and symptoms of illnesses, and the future directions in healthcare such as reinventing productivity and business processes (virtual health, precision medicine, chronic disease management), creating more personal computing (mixed reality, personal health insights, conversational computing), and building the intelligent “cloud platform” (AI, quantum computing, genomic acceleration). Kos said the major courses of action to make these visions attainable primarily involved utilizing perception, cognition, and action.
My biggest takeaway from Kos’ informative and inspiring speech was how capable we truly are at resolving the major issues and threats and concerns we face in healthcare. I saw so many new and innovative ideas, strategies, and devices in development or their early stages of public release that meet the standards of cutting costs, becoming widely available to people, and that are capable of benefiting both patients, healthcare institutions and providers. While there are many challenges that lie ahead of us in the medical industry, the digital modernization of healthcare contains many surprises and discoveries that will have a profound impact on the issues that are bestowed on healthcare today than people give it credit for.
Filed Under: Cybersecurity, M2M (machine to machine)