Speech at the MeetIT conference

Speech at the MeetIT conference organized by 3S SA
in Katowice on 5.12.2019 entitled “Is 5G + Cybersecurity + Multicloud = 2020?”

I recently looked at my private photos and found one that caught my attention. The photo came from the time when I was a teenager, probably from 1987, in which I sit in front of the Atari 800XL computer, whose mass storage was a cassette tape recorder… Today, hardly anyone even remembers that such a medium existed, and Pewex was the best place to purchase the cassette tapes.

What has changed over the past 30 years?

In 1987, I did not dream about what is happening in the IT world today. I did not dream that you would send a photo with a mobile phone to the other end of the world at the same time because there was no technology available yet. In 1987, there was no internet in Poland (only since 1990), so there was no email in Poland yet, although it already existed in the world. It is also difficult to say today what will happen in 30 years, indeed, what will happen in 10 years! Cloud – it wasn’t, the data was recorded on a cassette tape. Security – only physical – someone had access to the tapes. Communication? None, the computer existed on its own.

Connectivity for decades

At the time of which this photo was taken, only analog telephones existed, controlled by the authorities due to the political and economic system. In 1992, the first text messages appeared. although It would seem that they have always been with us. In 1998, 21 years ago, the premiere of mobile and wireless Internet took place. I remember myself very well the times when I had to dial 0 20 21 22 to be able to use the Internet from rented accommodation. The beginnings of mobile telephony were marked by telephone sets weighing many kilograms in suitcases, bearing the name “brick”, costing a fortune, which also were a hallmark of financial success. The development of telephony and communications had an avalanche effect. In the early 2000s, the first telephones with applications appeared, in which Blackberry achieved undeniable success. In the second half of the previous decade, the first iPhone appeared – in 2007, while Android phones had their premiere in 2008. Eternity? No! It’s only 11 years ago.

Cloud rise

When was the cloud created?

The end of the 60s is ARPANET – the precursor of the Internet as we know it today, initially used only for military purposes, then expanded its functioning in the educational environment. In 1971, the TCP/IP protocol was made public, the first website appeared in 1991, the concept of cloud computing was created in 1997, in 1999 Salesforce starts with its CRM in a SaaS model, and in 2006 Amazon provides its cloud services. And since Amazon began to deal with the cloud – it maintained a large Data Center and extensive infrastructure, whose use increased during the holidays, it figured out that other companies had similar problems, hence Amazon wanted to solve them and utilize its resources.

Cyber ​​threats timeline

Does anyone know the date of the first computer virus?

The first computer virus was created in the early ’70s under the name Creeper, which was authored by Bob Thomas, a self-replicating program that used ARPANET to infect DEC PDP-10 and display the message “I’m Creeper, catch me if you can.” The virus led to the creation of the first anti-virus program with the graceful name “Reaper” or “Ripper”.

Years later, it turned out that the threat is not only criminal groups, but also governments that collect data not necessarily only criminals, foreign spies or a risk group, but all, without exception. In 2013, the Snowden scandal took place, which revealed primarily the fact of participation of countries in global espionage.

2017 was the year of the Petya and WannaCry ransomware. For the first time, nearly 230,000 computers were attacked on such a big scale (official data, unofficially it was much more). Cryptolokers, in exchange for a ransom, theoretically guaranteed access to their data after paying the ransom in bitcoins.

Today? We are in the middle of a technological revolution. The world of business as we know it ends. What has so far appeared in sci-fi movies is becoming a reality.

What technologies will affect IT in 2020 and subsequent years? What can we expect?

5G

5G technology is mainly discussed in terms of the supposed impact on our health or conspiracy theories. This technology offers much higher performance and reliability than previous generations. According to the specification, it ensures transfer of up to 20Gb/s download and up to 10Gb/s sending, guarantees a maximum delay of 4ms, load – up to 1 million devices per 1 square kilometer and reliability – maintaining connection while traveling at speeds up to 500km/h.

According to experts, the main applications of 5G are in the Internet of Things – being the basis of smart homes, Industry 4.0 or the concept of smart cities. Seamless and fast connectivity between multiple devices guarantees connection quality. It will solve the problems of instability of WiFi connections in factory halls between the wireless access point and robots that move inside the halls. You can imagine controlling an excavator at the other end of the world.

5G can also have a huge impact on motorization and transport. In other words, traffic participants will be able to communicate with each other and with city infrastructure facilities without delay to warn about threats, inform about traffic jams, etc., improving traffic safety and flow.

Potential benefits include live broadcasts or video streaming from high-definition VOD services, as well as trouble-free support of virtual and augmented reality gadgets. It can be assumed that increasingly a mobile device connected with the use of 5G technology will replace traditional notebook or desktop devices.

Replacing the WiFi network – also a new standard will bring the future in the form of buildings without routers or access points. This technology is to be advanced enough to replace even WiFi.

Cybersecurity

Threats are growing rapidly, mainly due to the growing number of devices at the edge of the network. And their numer will only indrease because of the implementation of 5G technology. Everything will be in touch with everything, and all devices will be able to hack and break security. Since you can attack them on the one hand, it is worth protecting them on the other.

We will be witnessing a war on which, on the one hand, there will be cybercriminals, global companies and governments that want to know as much as possible, and on the other hand, we will want to protect our data and remain anonymous and non-transparent. In my opinion, we will eventually be doomed to failure. Whoever thinks about total anonymity will become excluded from society. Awareness will increase though. As children were once taught not to open doors to strangers or talk to them, now we will learn what not to do using technology.

Until recently, it was thought that security would be ensured by the anti-virus system along with a personal firewall, and a decent Firewall/UTM would do everything. Today it is known that this is not the case. Security policy is changing, it is like a second IT service in an organization.

Amnesty International warns in its new report that the ubiquitous surveillance of billions of people by Facebook and Google is a systemic threat to human rights. The organization calls on technological giants to introduce radical changes in their business models.

“Google and Facebook dominate our lives, gaining unprecedented power over the digital world by collecting and earning from personal data of billions of people. Their control over our digital lives undermines the right to privacy and is one of the major human rights challenges in our era,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

An example of “holes” is the Chinese smartwatch SMA-WATCH-M2, which works as a GPS tracking device, was designed to protect children and ensure parents safety. However, the best-selling children’s watch from the manufacturer in Shenzhen shows potential attackers the exact location of thousands of children around the world. It also allows eavesdropping and manipulating confidential conversations and other information, which proves that masses of cheap Chinese IoT devices do not meet the minimum standards of IT security or privacy.

Multicloud

Multicloud is a strategy for building cloud environments based on more than one cloud service from more than one provider. This can be a private or public cloud provider. Therefore, the organization can use one cloud, e.g. for backups, and the other for testing applications. Thanks to this solution, he uses an environment that meets all his needs and pays only for the actual use of virtual resources. It does not have to become addicted to one supplier and fully benefits from the functionality of professional cloud services.

To distinguish the definition, hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public cloud. This means that the user uses part of the infrastructure in one model and part in another. Multicloud also allows the use of several cloud services, but unlike hybrids it does not integrate hardware. In this model, the user can use any combination of clouds (private, public). Clouds do not have to be connected to each other. Multicloud is implemented using container technology.

Containers allow data isolation such as code, application or process. They can be freely moved between different environments and managed without fear of data loss or damage. In addition, thanks to the insulation, you can run many working containers at the same time, and this increases the freedom of work.

Why use multicloud: for several reasons – diversification – one cloud is suitable for something, e.g. hosting, the other for keeping the application working with different loads. There is diversification in the location aspect, which is required, e.g. by the regulator or the need to ensure high access. Multicloud increases security. For example, you can keep your backup in different clouds, so we have a greater guarantee of reliability in the event of failure of one of them.

AI

What can AI do? Already a lot. Thanks to AI, it is already possible to summarize texts, write press notes, create music or paint images. AI can recognize people’s emotions, AI can participate in the debate. AI sees, recognizes people’s faces, objects and sounds, and also can understand speech. All these possibilities make the foundation for what may occur in the near future, which in many cases may replace human work. And not only such as call center services, chatbots or taxi drivers. This is already reality. AI may replace 80% of doctors, especially family doctors, lawyers in the simplest cases, such as creating contracts and replying to letters. AI also has dark sides. We can imagine its use by the “dark side” and governments that would like to know everything about their citizens – it provides the foundation for every unit to be surveillance, where our faces will be recognized in every place. AI can be used to crack digital security, from passwords to biometrics.

BlockChain

When talking about blockchain we usually refer to cryptocurrencies or refer to its future applications, but the fact is that blockchain technology is used now and for non-cryptocurrency purposes. Use cases are different, but the benefits of using technology remain unchanged: transparency, consistency, redundancy and security. What is the use of blockchain today – e.g. the diamond register or the car register, where all transactions related to a given movable property are recorded, thanks to the dispersion and consensus mechanism such a register is ultra-secure. Blockchain has also been used in the electoral system in Switzerland – supporting e-voting. But probably the biggest project implementing blockchain technology that can happen to us is a digital global passport that we can use to identify ourselves around the world. Is that good? On the one hand, yes, but we will lose privacy.

Society

Will there be a 5.0 after Industry 4.0? Does industry 4.0 mean the beginning of the end of the world as we know it? Is this just another industrial revolution? Some sociologists and futurists believe that the time of work privilege is coming. Only some will work. It is estimated to be 20% of the population. The rest will be a precariat, all work will be done by robots much cheaper than by employees. Basic income will be paid to everyone from the taxation of robot labor and artificial intelligence. The second opinion is the opposite – humanity will create new professions, just as steam engines have not supplanted human labor, so AI will not replace human labor. But are you sure? I agree with the first opinion. The world as we know it ends.

Author: Przemysław Kucharzewski

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