The dynamic of opposites permeates human culture: light and dark, push and pull, happy and sad, supply and demand, yin and yang. While we tend to prefer one over the other, the reality is that the tension between opposites is what makes them complementary. The same can be said of technology. We all know that quick and free access to information, regardless of economic status, is changing the world. But none of that would be possible without security safeguards like accountability and authentication. Without those, economics, capitalism, and even democracy itself are severely strained. Which is why security is a multi-billion dollar industry.
The recent growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is a case study of what happens when access and availability are not counterbalanced by security. The vast majority of IoT devices available today have been built with little to no thought for security, and yet they are being integrated into the fabric of our daily lives at an unprecedented rate. As a result, massive botnets like Mirai and Hajime composed of millions of compromised IoT devices managed to take down a significant segment of the Internet and affect hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world. Most security experts agree that these attacks are just the tip of the IoT-based cyberthreat iceberg, and that they represent an extraordinarily large attack vector built into our emerging digital economy.