In the 20th century, a wave of technological advancement changed the global economy. The rise of the digital revolution pushed industrialism aside while the world became connected. Humankind shifted to higher levels of connectivity—from offline to online, from phone to smartphone, from local to the cloud, and from private to sharing—creating a ripple across the world that demanded greater and better and more innovative technologies.
In the dawn of the digital revolution, hackers were born. They roam the technology sphere like gunslingers in the wild wild west. They hack systems, hold data for ransom, inject malware, and crash networks. Attacks usually occur when there’s something to gain and something to exploit, and the Internet has been providing hackers with vulnerable treasures since 1990.
For the past decade, technology experts ranked data breaches among the most dangerous information security risks. While data breach attacks remain a threat, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which fuses technologies into cyber-physical systems, introduces risks that to date, have only existed in the imagination of science fiction authors.
Every year the Information Security Forum (ISF) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to the research and analysis of security risks — releases a report called Threat Horizon that outlines the most pressing security threats. The 2019 report contains security risks that illustrate the importance, if not urgency, of updating cybersecurity measures fit for 4IR technologies.