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Gartner Looks At Security's Long-Range Future And Finds It Coming At Us Fast

We spend so much time responding to -- or reacting to -- daily security threats and challenges that it's all too easy to overlook (or just plain avoid) taking a long-range look at the security future. Gartner points out that such denial is a mistake, a big one, with long-range consequences.
We spend so much time responding to -- or reacting to -- daily security threats and challenges that it's all too easy to overlook (or just plain avoid) taking a long-range look at the security future. Gartner points out that such denial is a mistake, a big one, with long-range consequences.This year's Gartner IT Security Summit is notable for its insistence upon looking farther ahead than next quarter's -- or next year's -- security challenges and security budgets, although the effects of both will be felt deeply over the decade that Gartner has taken as the summit's rough timeline.

Take a look at Tom Wilson's Dark Reading view of the summit's first day to get an idea of what Gartner's up to.

Gartner knows as well as the rest of us that IT spending is being cut back along with other spending -- as true and probably truer for small and midsize businesses in tough times as for bigbiz behemoths -- and that security investment is going down with it.

Mistake -- and not a small one. But since it's being made, it's a mistake that Gartner argues should be accompanied by responsibility -- and accountability -- on the business side for the consequences of investment cutbacks on the IT security side.

Now there's a visionary concept!

Speaking of visionaries, it's nice to see Gartner including professional visionaries -- i.e. science fiction writers -- at the summit's center-stage. (Less nice for Gartner to use the godawful but by now inextricably embedded "Sci-Fi" to refer to professional writers and thinkers who happen to write SF, but what are you gonna do?)

A caveat -- Greg Bear, who's one of the Gartner panelists, is a friend of mine, which caveat should in no way lessen my endorsement of something he said at the conference:

"Expect the unexpected, and always assume that your enemy is smarter than you are. Spend one day a week assuming that everything you know is wrong. Push your security vision beyond the limits of what you already know."

Pure Greg Bear (dip into any of Greg's books to get more)and absolutely good advice -- and absolutely extensible beyond security to every aspect of your business (substituting "competitor" for "enemy" of course, no matter how you feel about your competition.)

If you're planning on being in business in 2018 -- and I hope you are -- then advice like this, and big-think summits like Gartner's are important reminders that while the future may no longer easily or simply belong to the prepared (the quickchange future coming at us so fast and from so many different directions that accurate preparation becomes all but impossible), the future does belong to those who are prepared to think about it.

Which, come to think about it, is what we try to do here at bMighty on many fronts.