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Jen Q. Public: Underage drivers, hackers and cyberthreats

Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

July 23, 2015, 10:53 p.m.

Dear diary,

Last weekend I took my nephews to the amusement park and the bumper cars were the highlight of the outing; unlicensed teenagers behind the wheel can be characters. What made me chuckle really hard, though, were their claims that hackers had stalled their bumper cars whenever they got stuck on the side rail or bumped each other. Ironically, Good Morning America ran a segment on Wednesday about hackers controlling a connected car. Admittedly, that hack was staged, but as a result, I am no longer chuckling and instead I'm a little worried—well, more than a little.

This topic brings up the discussion, yet again, about whether we are really prepared to combat cyberthreats, or even a cyberwar. I don’t mean to be purposely redundant, but every day it seems we hear more dire news of the most recent government breach. And now we hear reports that even airplanes with Wi-Fi are susceptible. But what are we doing about it?

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced new legislation this week aimed at creating federal standards for connected cars. But are our governmental representatives doing enough? Are we utilizing analytics and the deluge of data we have at our disposal?

I recently read about IBM's commitment to creating a safer planet. That commitment includes solutions for threat prediction and prevention by equipping analysts and those on the front lines with the tools they need to generate actionable intelligence at mission-critical speed. I know this need for tools will be a topic of conversation at the upcoming IBM i2 Summit for a Safer Planet, but my hope is that we start the conversation today.

As I reflect on my nephews driving their bumper cars, I hope we never see the legal driving age lowered, and I also hope that the threat from cybercriminals hacking our cars never becomes a reality.

Until next time,

Jen Q. Public

P.S. Do register for the IBM i2 Summit for a Safer Planet. We need all the brain power we can get to thwart these threats!