Renowned hacker, inventor, entrepreneur and technology futurist, Pablos Holman, is on a quest to solve the world’s problems through the innovation of technology. Through his work at the Intellectual Ventures Lab, he has developed a brain surgery tool, a machine to suppress hurricanes, a self-sterilizing elevator button, a cure for cancer, a gun that shoots laser beams at malaria-carrying mosquitos, 3-D food printers, and he has contributed to visions for the future of urban transportation, entertainment, education, health care, food delivery, sensor networks, payment systems and cloud computing.

ISACA Now recently had a virtual sit down interview with Holman, who predicted where technology will be in 5-10 years and described his thoughts on how the cyber security war will be won. Here is that conversation:

ISACA Now: You’ve done some amazing things with computers. What are some of the amazing things the world will be doing with computers within 5-10 years?

Pablos Holman: We are truly at the beginning of figuring out what computers are good for. We have been resource-constrained for so long that our imagination is having trouble keeping up with all that has recently become possible. In 5-10 years, computers will go to absolutely every place they haven’t gone yet. If we can make self-driving cars, we will be able to make self-driving everything. This is going to reform all the industries that have remained intact because they were doing things software couldn’t replace.

ISACA Now: You’ve said that cyber security experts will never win. Why is that? What’s the best security scenario that you can envision, based on today’s reality?

Holman: Technical security with computers is a war of escalation. You can defend your castle with a moat but if there is a lot of gold inside, you will continue to attract motivated attackers, and eventually they will get creative enough to design a trebuchet.

The dynamics in play are no less complicated, and you will ultimately need to incorporate a lot of non-technical incentives to keep the attackers from growing in numbers and sophistication. This is working pretty well for your home, and that’s why a deadbolt and a glass window are enough to keep you pretty safe.

Technically, we don’t have any ideas about how to design things that are “totally secure.” We do have a great model in evolution though, and advancing our systems a bit at a time is working overall.

ISACA Now: What are the key takeaways from your recent CSX keynote address?

Holman: We need a practical way to think about innovation, advancing technology and what the point is! We need an understanding of how we are going to keep computer security problems from paralyzing us. We need to know how hackers think so we can put their minds to good use.

(This article originally appeared on the ISACA blog, which can be viewed here)

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