To most people, cybersecurity and the possible effects of cybersecurity threats are abstract at best, hard to imagine and understand. It is usually digital assets that get affected – our photos, emails, things we can live without. Therefore, we do not take it too seriously.
Let us take smart devices as an example. There are smart water bottles that remind us to drink more water. There are smart egg trays that count how many eggs we eat and know how fresh the eggs are. There are even smart brushes that make sure we brush properly our hair. There are also smart bedroom appliances. All these devices make our lives better, easier, more fun.
But what if our smart water bottle got hacked? Most of us would think – “well, I might miss a few sips in the afternoon…”.
On Thursday Boris Goncharov, AMATAS’ Chief Cybersecurity Strategist, decided to make the matter more personal and more… real. What if our life depended on a device? What if that device got hacked? What if that could cost our life?
Boris held a presentation during the Technical seminar, organized by the ISSA European Network (IEN) on the topic of data exchange between social security institutions.
He told a very personal story. A kid with Type 1 Diabetes uses an Insulin pump throughout the day. The insulin pump is a smart device. It continuously monitors the blood sugar levels of the kid and makes sure they in the norm. It does indeed make the life of the kid better. It even shares live data with his father’s smartphone and smartwatch app.
Two vulnerabilities, as discovered in 2018, could allow a hacker to gain control over the device and let them cause an insulin (bolus) delivery. In other words, under certain circumstances they could cause a hypoglycaemic coma.
Does cybersecurity really concern us? Yes, it does. Cybersecurity can and should be placed in the context of our lives, as it does have effect on them. A real effect.