Electrical conglomerate Samsung has a vision for the UK which, if realised, will see the country change from a digital society to a smart one.
According to research published by the company, along with the Big Innovation Centre think tank, the UK public are clamouring for new technology that will make their work and home lives more efficient.
According to TechWeek Europe, two thirds of the population think that the UK is already well on the way to becoming a smart society and around 10% think that Britain is ahead of the rest of the world in that regard.
Andy Griffiths, Samsung President of UK and Ireland, recently said that “the UK was confident with technology, evidenced by having the most Internet-dependent economy in the G20,” which all sounds rather dandy for existing UK companies and the budding e-entrepreneurs of the future, but one has to wonder if the country backs up such a position with world-leading levels of information security?
Griffiths went on to say that,
“It is clear analogue Britain is no more, it’s digital Britain, and at Samsung our role in this evolution is to empower people through technology… We want smart to be inclusive not exclusive, we want it to be enterprising and innovative and we want it to be about taking all of UK society forward.”
Which suggests to me that Samsung, for obvious reasons, hopes to encourage the adoption of more and more smart devices which undoubtedly offer benefits to the consumer through their connection to the internet, but which also pose risks that the average tv-owning, refrigerator user is blissfully unaware of.
Funnily enough, it is the aforementioned devices, along with lighting systems and washing machines that appear to be the most desired amongst UK consumers who believe them to be more efficient and likely to save them money over the longer term.
The survey also discovered that half of all respondents also plan to take up wearable technology, such as wrist bands that can monitor their health and many would like to see further development in 3D-printed medicine.
I can easily recognise why consumers would desire the widespread availability of such products and I expect the likes of Samsung and its competitors to quickly step in and offer what the market is looking for whilst marketing all of the benefits.
But who is making a song and dance about the security implications?
Sure, I see a few articles written about the Internet of Things, but thats because I’m living and breathing security when away from my job in retail.
But how much does the man in the street know about home lighting systems that can be turned on and off by a remote third party, TVs that can take photos of the family sitting in front of them, or fitness gadgets that share your fitness level with who knows who (insurance company, perhaps?)
The future will be smart, such devices will slowly seep into every home, and we will benefit from them. But, for now, I cannot help thinking that the technology is developing too fast and that the manufacturers of smart devices are not taking a secure-by-design approach. Also, as with every aspect of security, certain segments of the userbase are being left behind due to a lack of awareness of the drawbacks of such smart devices which, lets face it, some organisations aren’t too keen to highlight.