Predictions about the future can be entertaining or hilariously wrong. After Back to the Future, didn’t we expect to have flying hoverboards and vertically-ascending Deloreans by now? Yet visions of the future do more than fuel sci-fi, sometimes they manifest in reality. Consider that we really can communicate via a watch, play with and feed your dog remotely, and that teleportation is getting closer. With all of this increased connectedness, what will cyber security need to look like?
Advances in Technology
The best predictions ten years into the future start with an observation of current trends. For example, cloud computing and storing has been on the upswing and will continue to do so. The need for on-site storage and bulky devices will further evaporate. User ease, comfort, and aesthetics will continue to drive the technology interfaces that most people and companies see.
With the increased accessibility will come a continued growth in the number of industry-specific applications and resources, for literally any specialization. Such specificity will further streamline production, causing shifts in the job market. Expect that the new workforce in ten years will probably have familiarity with coding, technology and augmented reality interfacing beyond that of any previous generation. Those with training in and access to technology will then have even greater advantages in the workplace.
Keeping up with the Times
As technologies advance in these directions, the need to keep up will continue to expand. Weaknesses in cyber security and the failure to keep pace with technological dependence have already cost companies millions. Here are some of the key ways in which cyber security could, should, or will likely also change in the next 10 years.
- Instantaneous updates – Companies across many industries are not keeping up with system updates, as evidenced by the widespread “success” of the viruses WannaCry and NotPetya (which relied on weaknesses in outdated Windows operating systems). With the increased accessibility of cloud storage, businesses and organizations will have an easier time of upgrading legacy systems (less upfront cost, more just monthly maintenance), and pushing down updates will become easier. That’s one point in which cloud solutions will become more secure. In other ways, cloud solutions offer other security risks.
- End-user responsibility – Legislation around the globe has been moving in the direction of making companies and industries responsible for their own cybersecurity solutions, and that has also impacted expectations about individual end users: everyone will need to become a cyber security expert, of some sort, in the next 10 years, or risk being held personally liable.
- Legislation and insurance – Once any field becomes established, you can pretty much guarantee it will get legislated and you can insure it. These two trends have already begun in the world of cyber security monitoring (see end-user responsibility above). Cyber breach insurance will continue to expand.
- Threat increase – Cyber attacks will continue to rise, from three main categories: state-sponsored threat actors, mafia-like organized cybercrime, and individual actors (hactivists, meddlers, etc).
- Education – Ideally, the divide between those with cyber knowledge and those without will diminish, but realistically it will continue. Education will need to get with the times and train people of every age and experience level to interact in the cyberverse.
Visions of the Future
A 21st-century cyber security company will need to look into the future and keep up with the twists and turns as they come. E-crime shows no signs of slowing down, but by glimpsing into the topics and trends of today, you catch visions of that future. As Ben Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Will you be ready?