TED Conversations

Marc Goodman

INTERPOL-International Criminal Police Organization


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What is the greatest security challenge facing humanity today?

What do you see as the most pressing global security challenges of the 21st century? The broad themes are crime, terrorism, warfare and corruption.

Of course security is a theme which transcends many of the biggest issues facing our planet today, including environment change, access to clean water, poverty and disease/pandemic, to name but a few.

In your opinion, what do you view as the greatest security challenge facing mankind?

What steps can we take now to positively impact the greatest number of people from a global security perspective?

How might an innovative emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotech, biology, ubiquitous computing, genomics, synthetic biology, etc help resolve this challenge?

Thanks in advance for your input.


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    Apr 15 2011: I'd say that securing critical infrastructures and services over the Internet is the greatest security challenge that humanity is already facing today and will be for the next 10 or so years.

    It's beyond doubt that everything nowadays depends on technology and to be more specific on computers.
    Those computer systems need to be interconnected, in order to provide their services either directly or indirectly to people.

    The IRS, SSN, banks, medical records, cctv systems, billings (water, fixed and mobile phones, electricity etc) are all on-line.
    If anyone get's access to such systems, then everybody is a potential victim and could be in danger some time in the future.
    Stuxnet is a very good example of what worms and viruses (hence people) are able to achieve.
    This is just the beginning of a series of cyber warfare operations going on.
    And there are a lot of people who already have illegal access to such systems all over the world.
    Individuals, governments, terrorist or not groups, activists etc.

    Securing all those infrastructures IS the hardest thing to do, since the most safe PC is the one that is locked in a basement room, with no power and no Ethernet connection whatsoever.

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