Computer Security: It's Not Just For Computers Any More
from the who-should-do-it? dept
My parents recently bought a new computer, and while visiting them last week, I helped them get it set up, including all the various security applications and settings they would need. Thanks to some weird configuration issues from the manufacturer, it took a bit more tweaking than it should have, but eventually we got it figured out. Amusingly, the timing of the computer purchase was done on purpose. They knew I was coming to visit, and bought the computer in time for me to be there to help them get it set up safely. That can work for a once-every-few-years type of purchase like a computer, but it gets much trickier when you need to set up security for just about everything electronic in your house. As we’re moving towards a world where everything is connected, from your computer to your TV to your phones (both mobile and wireline) to your fridge to your alarm system to your light switches, it’s simply asking way too much of individuals to handle their own computer security all the time. Who wants to reinstall anti-spyware software on each light bulb they change? It’s getting to the point where do-it-yourself computer security is getting to be too big of a job for most people, and they’re going to increasingly look to someone for help. Most likely, that “someone” is going to be their broadband providers. While some still say that if you’re going to use the technology, you should have a basic level of competence, the truth is that that’s unlikely to happen, and people are still going to be expecting the problems to get fixed — and the three most likely targets are the broadband providers (they bring the connection), the software providers (they leave the security holes) and the hardware providers (people identify the device with its manufacturer). Unfortunately, right now, all three seem to be playing the blame game. Call one up to complain about problems and they send you to the other. Instead of passing the blame, someone needs to step up, and start offering better solutions for protecting everything that will be connected to a user’s network (whether at home, at work or on the go). If they can do so successfully (no small challenge) customers will flock to them.