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Amazon: Prime Prey or Consumer?

Fact: We have all benefited from technological advancements in our lifetime.

The tech boom, if we are to moniker it as that is now a massive, globally thunderous earthquake heard and seen everywhere! First, we went from the paleolithic age of hunters and gatherers to the Neolithic age of development and sustainability; and one can only imagine what those early humans had to endure and sojourn through. Suppose they were given a glimpse of what life is like now for us later humans? Imagine the facial expressions and rapid thoughts firing throughout their brains.

Say it with me now, "WE GOT IT GOOD".

But-- before we break out the champagne, let's also evaluate just how integral tech is to almost every aspect of our daily lives. For instance, Generation Z (most of gen z) read their first pieces of literature via an iPad. Babies could be seen crying not for the affection of their caretakers but because their device fell out of their stroller. Students along with educators shifted from an analog way of research (books, libraries, and peer reviewed sources) to now googling their way through education. And how can we forget privacy! Anything and anyone can be captured being naughty or nice by a handheld android or iPhone. Lastly, whatever we want (assuming it is not a giraffe or elephant) can be delivered right to our doorstep with a few clicks. That's right. Good ole' AMAZON.

Remember when Alexa and Echo hit the market? Folks ran out to purchase the latest tech trend. While many consumers were eager to get their hands on these home internet devices, others were apprehensive. Sure, audibly stating what you desire and having a device grant you your request was pretty fascinating. However, what happens in the moments of silence or candid conversation? What happens when my device is on but my commands are "off"? Hello, is anyone there? In a recent article furnished by the Cyber Scoop Group, Amazon Sidewalk: a neighborhood device network is about to dip their box (pun intended) in some murky privacy waters.

So uhmm... should we be concerned?

In the article, writer Tonya Riley describes how Amazon Sidewalk network "pulls slivers of broadband pulls slivers of broadband from its users to create a larger network to extend the range for devices further from a users’ home, such as the tracking device Tile or smart lighting at the edge of a users’ property. Benefits of such technology include helping a user find a lost dog or car keys, Amazon touts. It could also keep devices online if the internet of an individual user goes out."

The article also goes on to mention that, “This is uncharted territory for the privacy and security of devices like Alexa, Echo and Ring,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement, urging users to be cautious of the new technology. “Wireless networks are already notoriously vulnerable to hacks and breaches, and families need better information and more time before giving away a portion of their bandwidth to this new system.” Amazon is not new to hacking. In 2019 alone Amazon experienced a series of hacks resulting in the abuse of the users. And just earlier this month, according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon could be fined more than $425 million under the European Union's privacy law for cases that relate to the collection and use of individuals' personal data and violations under the EU's data privacy rule known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In short, the GDPR requires companies to seek your consent before using your personal data or, face steep fines. Ok, so does any of the above sound familiar? It's like the elders would say, "ain't nothing free." There is a price for expansion and innovation. There is a price for convenience and complacency. This is neither a "good" nor "bad" thing. It is simply a real thing. While Amazon will require third parties to undergo a "security evaluation process" to join a network, its encrypted network may not be as secure as we assume. Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Technology will continue to advance rapidly both in our generation and the ones to follow. 2. Our dependency on technology to manage our daily lives will only increase. 3. Due to #1 & #2 cyber attacks by increasingly sophisticated or well-seasoned hackers also will continue to take place. 4. A ransomware attack is likely on its way to a device near you. 5. Key question: Are you, your family, your friends, your small business protected in the event of a sudden breach of your data and personal information? At Nine Mile we believe that right planning and active prevention is the best protection. We have the tools and know-how to support you immediately.

Contact us now to get started. Follow us on IG: @nine_mile_security_group.

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