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CeBIT opens with focus on Big Data and the Internet of Things

CeBITThe CeBIT tech conference got underway Monday in Hanover, Germany, and of course Sophos is there. The big news so far comes from keynote speeches from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced a new partnership between the two countries in the hopes of leading the next tech revolution in Europe.

Cameron talked about the future of near-instant media downloads from the 5G Internet, and announced new funding for research projects on the Internet of Things — the huge assortment of connected devices in our increasingly data-driven world.

More: Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a general description of the “smart” technology we use every day. The types of smart devices we use now includes cars, refrigerators, electricity meters, and anything else that we want to get more data about. At CeBIT, Volkswagen Chairman Martin Winterkorn told audiences that the company has more smart sensors than any other car company.

The Internet of Things means we have to consider security as part of everyday life, whenever we use and create data. Sophos CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck explained it nicely in his foreword to the 2014 Security Threat Report:

Security is no longer a “nice to have,” but a must-have. As we fly in airplanes, draw cash from a nearby ATM, or rely on a steady supply of electricity and water, we can no longer assume the security of these systems. In the not-too-distant future, such systems could yield attacks that have a very personal impact on each of us.

For those wishing to harm us, embedded devices in our homes, offices and even cities present new attack targets. Our experts from SophosLabs write in this year’s Threat Report that, “While we don’t expect attacks against the Internet of Things to become widespread in 2014, we do predict an increase in reported vulnerabilities and proof-of-concept exploits.”

World of Warbiking

James Lyne, global head of security research at Sophos, is in Germany this week, continuing his warbiking tour of major cities around the world. James kicked off the tour at RSA in San Francisco — his mission is to find out “how our hunger to be online at all times is leaving millions of people and companies vulnerable to hackers and spies.”

Check out a video of James’s warbiking project at

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