It’s true, technology offers our society a wealth of new opportunities, but it also brings numerous dangers we didn’t have to contend with before. Omnipresent connectivity is also putting our safety at risk, enabling groups with the wrong intentions to wreak havoc. By targeting critical infrastructure, for instance. Our health is also under attack. Did you know that pacemakers and other hospital equipment can be hacked? That 4D- and bioprinters could be turned into weapons of mass destruction, making our most terrifying nightmares a reality? And criminals using advanced tech are very difficult to keep up with. Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do. This does mean that we need to stay hot on these criminals’ heels – or better still – remain one step ahead.
Living in a connected city certainly has its perks. And quite frankly, would you know what to do without the IoT? Unfortunately, all this convenience is not without its dangers. Did you know that each smart device in your home is a potential point of entry for a dedicated hacker? And just imagine what could happen if criminals launched sophisticated, coordinated cyber-attacks on our critical infrastructure. They could target our power grids, water treatment systems, and even hospitals, putting countless lives in grave danger.
To enable medical staff to administer treatment and access vital stats remotely, medical devices are increasingly connected to the IoT. Convenient and efficient? Sure. But just imagine what could go wrong if a hacker gains access to these systems. Did you know that technology is already enabling scientists to read our thoughts and even plant new ones? The idea of our brains, our neurological systems, and even our DNA getting hacked is therefore not an impossibility. And while many of these medical breakthroughs aim to restore or improve human abilities, some – in the wrong hands – could herald a pretty spooky future.
We’ve entered into an era in which science could rewrite the gene pool of future generations of plants, insects, and even humans. Sure, this could help eradicate genetic disease, or create healthier, stronger crops. But in the hands of criminals, it could cause genetic hell to break loose. Virus-carrying insects could be used to genetically engineer crops and threaten the global food supply. The most nightmarish scenario would surely be human cloning. This is already done with animals and, technologically, will soon also be possible with humans – if it isn’t already.
The abundance of digital technologies and our increasing use of cryptocurrencies offers unprecedented opportunities. These developments, however, also herald a new age of financial crime. Financial technologies like payment apps, e-wallets, digital currencies and anonymous blockchain transactions give criminals access to various money laundering options and offer terrorists a multitude of financing possibilities. Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in sophisticated phishing attacks, to fool biometric scanners with fake fingerprints and to create real-time audio and video deepfakes to wage disinformation and commit extortion. Science fiction? Nope. Real as can be.
With the development of new technologies, new types of crimes have emerged that can harm military and national security, leaving entire countries defenceless. Cyber-warfare describes cyber attacks that cause physical damage to people, places and objects in the real world. Damage could be inflicted using artificial intelligence (AI), drones, robots, 3D/4D-printing technology, real-time satellite monitoring or through the use of – for instance – personalised bioweapons.
In many ways, people are no longer separate from technology. It is, therefore, important to keep an eye on the moral side of technological developments. We need to philosophize about the implications for the world of tomorrow and ensure we take important ethical considerations into account. We need to determine our boundaries and have (and voice) opinions about how people and machines should work together. What will happen to our individual rights and how will we deal with privacy and risk management? How will we remain happy in the world of tomorrow?
New technologies have brought significant change to law enforcement. Policing will become increasingly data-driven and new roles will emerge. Law enforcement officers will need to be tech-savvy, assess their environment rapidly, analyse data for insights, and get deeply involved in their communities. To tackle new threats posed by advanced technologies, law enforcement will need to create an organisational culture that promotes innovation and strategic foresight. Via apps and innovative tech like VR/AR headsets, hazard sensors, protective exoskeletons and predictive policing software, future crime fighters will be nothing short of high tech.
The future of work requires a new type of manager, one who challenges the status quo and is willing to abandon 20th century ‘best practices’. There will be a move to flatter hierarchies as millennials are great team players and see traditional hierarchies as outdated. They are result-driven and expect their managers to be the same. The managers of the future offer employees opportunities to develop new skills and explore new positions.
The company of the future is hyper connected. It closely monitors new developments and collaborates with startups, scientists and universities. It uses smart algorithms to analyse the world and employs a flexible workforce capable of rapidly developing new products, services or processes, and offering support on complex issues. The company of the future requires accessible leaders who inspire, have new visions and are prepared to veer off the beaten track.
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rom hacking hospitals to seizing control of the electrical grid, hackers are exploring technology for vulnerabilities. And the danger comes from far worse than stolen data or infrastructure disruption: biotech discoveries could easily be turned into weapons of mass destruction, while 3D printers could help criminals get their hands on easily printed guns.Download
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