Risk
12/29/2010
10:46 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Information Security Predictions 2011

Here's my take on what big events will shape information security in the year ahead. (Or, maybe not).

Here's my take on what big events will shape information security in the year ahead. (Or, maybe not).Prediction Number 1: Hackers Get Back To Basics. There are two trends that will come into play and full fruition in the next year that will force hackers back to the basics. First, the current enterprise defenses organizations employ: intrusion detection systems, firewalls, content filtering, data leak prevention, and especially anti-virus software become so effective that many of the less skilled attackers just can't get through them anymore. Second, a global law enforcement crackdown on criminal hacking turns out to be extremely successful.

All of this means that hackers who really aren't any good get discouraged - and just stop hacking- toward the second half of next year. Those criminal hackers who are good enough at their craft to make a living are all arrested and imprisoned. The result: those who are left bring hacking back to the golden age of cracking networks for the joy and mischief of it all.

Prediction Number 2: Cyberwar is obsolete before it gets started. Nations realize that no matter how well equipped their offensive cyber warfare capabilities become - they can't adequately defend their networks, data, and critical infrastructure from the attack of others. Most every nation agrees to enter into a cyber warfare treaty that outlaws nation-backed attacks on the critical infrastructure of other nations. Overall, the treaty is viewed by the world as a great success. However there is a serious increase in the Chinese unemployment rate as a result of the treaty. This is solved when Google hires the unemployed Chinese hackers to develop cool new beta applications as long as they agree to stop attacking the search engine giant.

Prediction Number 3: Zero-defect ultra-secure code becomes attainable. An application security vendor develops a secure coding framework that works with all development languages. When laying this framework on top of the development environment, all security related business logic and coding errors are flagged and code can't be compiled until properly remedied. Administrators around the globe cheer that they finally get their second Tuesday of every month back. Adobe and Microsoft stock soars.

Prediction Number 4: Security industry moves from FUD to data. That's right: The language of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt is replaced by the language of science. Enterprises start analyzing the security related data they have, and start gathering more difficult to obtain data. Organizations start to study and share this data. The data is turned into useful information. They begin to test their hypothesis about which security practices work, and which do not. By 2013 the amount of budget spent annually on information security plummets by 55 percent while the security for most organizations rises exponentially.

Prediction Number 5: Operating System Stupid User Behavior Parser. One of the major operating systems becomes equipped with a Stupid User Behavior Parser, of SUBP. SUBP identifies links, files, applications, and web sites that the user shouldn't engage and blocks the user from being able to make the mistakes that jeopardize the security of their systems.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.