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Op-Ed: Internet of Things and privacy, another challenge for anti-fraud systems

Those who saw “Eagle Eye,” an action thriller with Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, must have had flea behind the ear. The 2008 film is about the whole team connected by a chip that can be accessed remotely, not always for the better. It also focuses on how all of our personal information is within reach of an efficient search engine.

The intention of the director, DJ Caruso, was to create a connection with the protagonists and the viewer but ends up drawing attention for a fact that goes far beyond what the eye can see. What is it? The antifraud systems that this technological device needs to prevent lost, altered, stolen or shared data among machines.

It sounds like science fiction, but a smart TV connected to a home’s wireless network can be a great access point for a hacker, for example. Or for a company that needs to increase its results.

An exaggeration? I don’t think so…

Think of banks, for example. Today, they offer a good user experience when it comes to preventing fraud on devices connected to a fixed or home network. The problem is that, increasingly, this connection becomes a minority in the universe of devices already operating at full speed through the cellular network.

Now imagine your new refrigerator, with direct access to your bank account and your debit and/or credit card, able to buy food whenever sensors detect a product is running out. It will be the end of worrying over the pantry, traffic and lines at the cash registers, among other things that make a simple trip to the supermarket an odyssey.

It’s called the Internet of Things (IoT), a small wonder of modernity (yes, it can be felt around us) and will be the future of all devices that we cannot live without, I haven’t the slightest doubt.

The question is: How can we guarantee that these devices are safe inside a giant network connection possibilities? Also, how do you keep your privacy safe from misuse of the information that your home can provide to unwanted “guests?”

Are you someone who cannot conceive a lack of bacon in your diet, for example? Well, maybe your health insurance will be a little more expensive if your refrigerator decides to talk to your health care provider’s computers.

In the near future — and even more with the imminent arrival of the 5G network — the online relationship will be between people and people; people and things; and things and things. And the latter will be especially ubiquitous. According to a report from Gartner, by 2020 we will have about 20 billion interconnected devices “exchanging ideas” all the time.

Therefore, it is crucial that protection and prevention systems move data at the same speed — or even faster if possible — as Internet connections. Fraud prevention strategies and authentication policies must adapt and be more automated to address the increasing connections, fraudulent creativity and new regulations.

Author Paulo Moura is senior product engineer at PayPal Latam.

In the 2008 film, the hacker is a U.S. government security system. (Sorry for the spoiler, reader!) that aims to create a new governmental structure for the good of the people. But believe me, it could easily be any digital entity in our daily lives.

I had never before believed the saying “he who has information has power” to be so fitting.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

1 Comment

  1. Raul Burgos September 16, 2019

    A good Op-Ed providing us a glimpse into a not so far away reality. iOT, Smart City and other M2M trends coming down the pike will no doubt create security challenges at a personal, enterprise and government level. Recognizing these trends presents the need for an expanded digital fraud & security industry, a big opportunity for those new local “digipreneurs”…


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