Technology is constantly evolving. What exciting developments can we expect to see in coming years? Based on the findings of a white paper by our parent company, NTT DATA, this four-part blog series delves into the eight trends that will have the biggest influence on our personal and working lives.
In the last post , we looked at ambient commerce and distributed mesh computing. This time, in the final post of the series, we examine cyber-physical security and engineering innovation.
Trend 7: Cyber-Physical Security
The benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) are well documented. Yet the trend has one major flaw: digital security issues. In June 2015, hackers stole 21.5 million records from the US Office of Personal Management. Earlier that year, cyber criminals targeted the Japanese national pension system and leaked the personal data of around 1.2 million people.
Hacking was once the pursuit of mischievous computer geniuses. Today it is the weapon of choice for criminal organizations intent on gaining political or financial leverage. As such, tactics have diversified and become more sophisticated. But it is not only information at risk. The proliferation of connected devices means that cyberattacks could prove deadly.
Last year, in a demonstration of this threat, white hat hackers disabled a connected car’s brakes via remote control. And a cyber security consultant hijacked a plane’s in-flight entertainment system to make the plane briefly fly sideways. Although neither of these cases had fatal consequences, the potential for loss of life is undoubtable.
Detect and Neutralize
Against this background, it is critical that companies and governments find a solution to computer security issues. However, as most threats are unforeseeable and occur in quick succession, it is currently impossible to prevent them altogether. Detection and recovery measures are therefore top priority.
Accordingly, NTT DATA has developed a technology that isolates infected nodes by controlling a network and its devices. The system also monitors communication from suspicious sources to identify and recover leaked information.
How the IoT Can Boost Security
While it would be foolish to dismiss the dangers associated with the IoT, it is not all bad news. Connected devices can in fact provide security. For example, a new service places small sensors anywhere in a home to detect unusual activity and report it to a registered smartphone. And in the future, similar sensors may even be able to prevent cyberattacks.
Trend 8: Engineering Innovation
Manufacturers all around the globe are enhancing their portfolios with digital innovations, redesigning all processes from the factory floor to after-sales services. The goal is to boost productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and create new business models.
3D printing, for instance, allows companies to produce items on a just-in-time basis. This in turn means developers are able to meet individual needs, putting the user at the heart of the manufacturing process.
The IoT is also playing a key role in this movement. Eventually, every link in the value chain will be connected to networks and optimized individually. As this transformation gains traction, products are increasingly becoming services, enabling manufacturers to make continuous improvements based on trial and error.
One such example is the Global Digital 3D Map Distribution Service. NTT DATA collaborated with the Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan to develop the technology. The service uses satellite images and displays high-detail two-meter resolution 3D maps. It also includes a new data format for use with 3D printers. Since its launch in 2014, it has been used for a variety of purposes, including infrastructure development, disaster recovery programs, and anti-epidemic initiatives.
A Global Difference
As products continue to evolve into services, enterprises will be in competition to provide the most sophisticated user experiences. The breakdown of traditional innovation barriers will result in solutions that are not only life-changing, but have the power to influence the world as a whole.
NTT DATA Technology Foresight 2016
For a more in-depth viewpoint on the top technology trends download the whitepaper below.