Now that we are already about one-sixth through the 21st century, it’s time to take stock of IT Security trends and issues.
With mobile computing already so widespread and the Internet of Things promising to add billions more attached devices, a large part of your security will be determined by the state of your technology.
Politics will also drive a number of important security issues and people will be a significant factor. However, for each of these factors, there is always more than meets the eye.
- Technology. The need to stay up to date with software versions and patches is well-known. The potential of machine learning and behavioural analysis to shore up security is often discussed.
But technology can be a trap for the unwary, who think bringing it in will automatically solve their problems. More technology can do the reverse, opening up additional vulnerabilities and increasing attack surfaces.
- Politics. Will our governments save us? Defence of data privacy and protection is welcome, but some governments have been only too willing to take on the role of attacker, rather than defender.
Add to this the suspicions some countries have aroused in trying to cordon off Internet access, and government intervention starts to become as much a security threat as a saviour.
- People. Security professionals can help users and organisations to stay safe, but those professionals are in short supply. In parallel, younger generations who are being brought up on the “sharing” paradigm consequently pay less attention to good information security processes and habits.
Security education and awareness campaigns can help, but just like software, if security has not been integrated from the start, it can be difficult or even unrealistic to try to bolt it on afterwards.
The solution? Identify your security needs accurately, plan your responses effectively and test their quality and viability. And remember to keep an eye open for security issues disguised as opportunities, as well as the other way round!