Con­nected and scared

HWM (Singapore) - - Ed's Note -

In this is­sue, we look at the ma­jor in­no­va­tions made by the soft­ware big three. I’m talk­ing about the Ap­ple World Wide De­vel­oper Con­fer­ence, Google I/O and Mi­crosoft Build. These three events are more im­por­tant than the hard­ware rah-rah that is CES or MWC or IFA be­cause they give us a glimpse into the fu­ture each com­pany is build­ing to­wards. And when the world’s con­sumer hard­ware run on ei­ther one of their plat­forms, be it iOS, An­droid or Win­dows, you want to take note on what’s hap­pen­ing.

The mes­sage is sim­ple, AI and au­to­ma­tion is tak­ing over. Your smart de­vices now have the abil­ity to rec­og­nize and re­act to what they see and hear. And as con­nected de­vices sat­u­rate the mar­ket, the bat­tle now is about who can pro­vide the bet­ter smart hub. And to this ex­tent, Ap­ple, Google and Mi­crosoft are all in­vest­ing heav­ily in their re­spec­tive dig­i­tal as­sis­tants. Even third party play­ers like Ama­zon and Sam­sung are go­ing all out with Alexa and Bixby re­spec­tively.

Where’s the down­side to this? Well, more con­nected de­vices means more de­vices that can be at­tacked, and to­day, we stand to lose a lot more than just a hard disk of down­loaded movies. Ran­somware is the hot topic of the month. Un­like tra­di­tional viruses, its main pur­poses isn’t de­stroy­ing your data, but lock­ing you out of your own sys­tems till you pay up. And thus, mal­ware has turned into a lu­cra­tive crim­i­nal en­ter­prise tar­get­ing ev­ery­one from the man on the street to large busi­nesses.

Should you be scared? Yes. Is there some­thing you can do about it? Yes. Read on.

Zachary Chan Ed­i­tor

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