August 12, 2019

As industries turn to automation, cyber vulnerabilities arise

UA professor Larry Head says attacks on systems are inevitable.

Across all industries, the use of new technologies and automation raises questions about vulnerabilities to hacking. The scenario isn’t far-fetched, according to Larry Head, a professor of systems and industrial engineering at the University of Arizona.

“We’re worried about people taking over automated systems, and so we try to put in safeguards. But it’s going to happen,” Head said. “In every industry where automation is becoming part of what they do, having cybersecurity and understanding the risks and trying to design systems to protect against it is really important.”

Head also discussed steps consumers can take to be safe regarding autonomous vehicles.

“Don’t just sign up with company ‘X’ and jump in their vehicle. Do a little bit of due diligence and see what the history of the company is. Have they been hacked?” Head said. “If they’re having issues with your information, your credit cards, I bet they’re going to have vulnerabilities on other fronts too.”

Arizona 360
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