The internet of things has been touted in recent years as the next big technological revolution –anything from cars, toasters, garden sprinklers and pets would be connected to the internet, sending out information and taking instructions.
But one person on Twitter perfectly demonstrated the anxiety that many people feel about having everything connected online, posting a picture that has struck a chord with thousands.
Intel Security global director Jackie Stokes took a picture of an internet-connect refrigerator that was out of action due to a Windows upgrade. It’s a frustration that many have felt at work or at home when they want to use their computer — but Stokes’ needs were rather more basic.
“I just wanted some water,” the thirsty executive wrote.
I just wanted some water… pic.twitter.com/gdhXKvbNbz
— Jackie Stokes (@find_evil) January 5, 2017
The post, as of Monday morning, had been retweeted more than 35,000 times and liked more than 61,000 times, in a show of support for Stokes’ predicament. The pic, reportedly snapped at the CES trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month, has inspired parodies — including one showing the fridge frozen with the “Windows blue screen of death”.
Steve Beards, APJ & India general manager for software firm Flexera, said that it’s reality that even the smallest and the most trivial of devices, once connected to the internet, will require regular patching to protect against cyberattacks.
“In 2015, there were over 16,000 vulnerabilities discovered across more than 2,000 products. The rise of internet of things products, for business and consumers, is only going increase the number of these vulnerabilities and allow hackers new access points to networks.”
— CMDR F99 (@CMDR_F99) January 5, 2017
Beards said that the benefits of internet of things are “truly amazing” but both individuals and businesses need to be aware of the risks and be as vigilant about patching their fridge as much as their computer.
“The growing number of these connected devices is increasing the risk of cyber-attacks and, therefore, increasing the need for patching,” he said.
Flexera is a US company that provides software asset management tools for businesses.