Gartner recently released their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill trends mind you. These are the disruptive (and often distressing) realities that appear to be just ’round the corner and will require organizations and individuals to adapt and invest or risk being left in the evolutionary dust. While some trends have been percolating along quite nicely such as cloud computing and software-defined infrastructures and applications, I don’t think the real impact of “the Internet of things” or “computing everywhere” is yet understood. An area that should be of particular concern is security. I think we understand how to make technology do wondrous things but in the wrong hands, it could be disastrous. Technology is enabling but amorally so.
Gartner states that all roads to the digital future lead through security. All roads led to Rome too and the city burned. Is the solution more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools? Or new models of building security directly into applications? Both have their place. But the past has shown that product release dates tend to trump security testing and improvements. Progress is currently prioritized over precaution. So there’s likely to be more carnage before new models arise. With the Internet everywhere, so too will be risks – some innocuous and others life-threatening. It may take a national cyber emergency to shift the collective mind-set. Security must become proactive, not just preventative.