2016predictionsJust because IBM suffered a marketing hiccup doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about doing 2016 predictions. This one is simple — a confluence of anti-hacking paranoia combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), which will lead to any number of really, really bad events in 2016.

Remember how the CIA or the NSA or whatever agency it was hacked a few years ago the Iranian nuclear centrifuges making enriched uranium? The centrifuges updated their software over the Internet, loading doctored code that eventually caused the machines to overspeed and shake themselves to pieces, putting the Iranian nuclear program months or years behind.

Now imagine much the same thing happening to your Internet-connected thermostat, baby monitor, or car. We’ve already seen hacking demonstrations kill cars as they drive down the street. Well there will be lots more where that came from.

I’m sure we’ll see one or more really serious IoT data security breaches with profound negative effects in 2016, destroying property and possibly costing lives. This is unlikely to be the work of script kiddies and more likely to be state-sponsored.

The cyber war has already begun.

This is not to say we should abandon the IoT or the Internet (it’s already too late for either) but that hardening and making more resilient this new networking segment is vitally important, as is finding ways to monitor the IoT and quickly recover from attacks.

One thing is for sure: IoT data security is going to become a huge business over the coming years — probably bigger than the IoT, itself.