Ken McLaurin, Red Hat Inc.
It sounds like a scenario out of a science fiction thriller – in the far future, everything from traffic lights and rail switches to pacemakers and hospital monitors is connected, leading to an improved quality of life but putting every day citizens on the front lines of computer security. Not only are these devices connected, they are actively talking to each other – in fact, many are downright chatty! Instead of just stealing patient medical data or customer credit card data, security breaches and hacker attacks can cause widespread devastation, from traffic accidents to turning off critical medical devices. Scary, right? Now imagine that this connected future isn't really that far off, thanks to the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), which means that security of smart devices is front and center today.