MEDICINE 2.0 – News from the future and understanding security’s role

The first CRISPR babies have arrived in China. This event portends for vast new dabbling in genetic engineering. Watch for genetic manipulation, possibly coupled with radical new human implant shenanigans in S.E. Asia (Thailand and Korea especially). Medical tourism isn’t just another catchphrase. Futurist, William Gibson is/was correct. The future is “now”. 

Do you want a sixth sense such as recognizing ultraviolet or infrared light? There’s an implant for you. Do you want superior hearing? There’s an implant for that. 

The CRISPR genie is officially out of the bottle and has created a major stir among molecular biologists, ethicists, providers and policy makers. In the next five years, and at the nefarious end of the provider spectrum, lots of shady “Quack Docs” will profit by adding capabilities to our bodies and brains. On the positive side, we can drastically improve the concept of personalized medicine through identifying mutations that cause diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Another major technology breakthrough is rapidly solidifying and ready to make a major impact in medicine. Deep Learning, one of the more successful Artificial Intelligence approaches for solving data-rich problems is ready for prime time.  In 2017, Stanford researchers developed a deep learning algorithm that offers diagnoses based off chest X-ray images. It can diagnose up to 14 types of medical conditions and is able to diagnose pneumonia better than expert radiologists working alone. There are so many other new interesting uses of Deep Learning in medicine that it’s high time to fully examine security implications of such leap-frogging technical advances .

To my fellow security professionals, will our teams be ready to secure gargantuan data sets flying in and out of “clouds” at immense speed? What is and should be security’s role besides keeping data secure or untampered with? How should we consider the security of approved implants in the body? Should we be proactive in helping map out our scintillating and yet dangerous futures? What should our role in making policy be?