The Mobile World is an Amazing Place – Mobile World Congress 2016

Mobile World Congress may be in the rearview mirror, but it’s still top of mind. The week was filled with flashy device unveilings, exciting new accessories, lots of talk about advances in Internet-connected technologies, festive late-night parties, and even a surprise guest appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The event in Barcelona exposed how far mobile technology continues to develop so rapidly. Virtually every aspect of our lives has gone mobile, and we will continue to be more connected to the people and things around us. And with ultra-fast 5G just around the corner, all of these devices and all of our data will be moving faster than ever.

Those who take advantage of these emerging technologies today will be tomorrow’s leaders, but they need to do so in a safe, secure way.

Internet-connected devices share critical communications with each other and across different infrastructures. Cybercrimes engineered at these devices, networks, and data are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated. This is especially troubling since it’s not just our personal identities and sensitive business information at stake, it’s also the integrity of the systems on which we rely. Left unprotected, targeted attacks against these networks and devices could cause breakdowns in essential services globally.

We’ve already seen how these attacks can cripple digital healthcare systems, making useless the mobile devices doctors and clinicians rely on to deliver quality care. Our cars are becoming more connected too, exposing us, our families, and the people around us to physical danger if they were to become compromised. We can also expect attacks on our critical infrastructures like utilities and transportation to increase as cyber criminals become more adept at how to take over these systems.

These few examples of real-world attacks prove it’s critical to start thinking now about cyber attacks of tomorrow.  Investments should be made in threat detection and prevention capabilities designed to analyze anomalous behaviors that could indicate an attack. And everyone should make themselves aware of the inherent risks of living in such a highly mobile world where sensitive data never rests.

When secured against advanced cyber attacks, IoT, and Internet-connected devices drive business innovations that help people, machines, and the world work better together. And that’s a world I can’t wait to see take shape tomorrow.

Jeff Zacuto is a San Franciscan, gadget geek, and senior mobile security marketer at Check Point Software Technologies. His 15 years of experience with mobile technology, security and compliance gives him a unique perspective on the needs and expectations of IT and security professionals, end users and corporate executives.