Future of Information Security   [open html - 35KB]

As computers become smarter, more sophisticated, and more flexible, they will become more like us. That is, they will acquire the reliable information security provisions that all of us carry around as our basic make-up. Yet, as they become more like us, they will begin to ingest information at the semantic level from outside sources as we do (as in fact, you are doing now), and will thus be heir to more subtle but no less problematic forms of information warfare. It is important to note that forecasts about information security are inevitably forecasts about information systems themselves. Several key factors influence the current level of information security. As people move away from closed proprietary systems, they will expose themselves to more security risk, especially in the process control sectors (e.g., SCADA systems). For this reason, but perhaps only for this reason, one may see a decline in the average level of information security over the next few years. It is extremely difficult to know what the threat to information systems actually is, and thus all the harder to know in what direction it is going. In terms of actual day-to-day threat, information warfare has remained distinctly unimpressive. Most computer crimes are internal affairs, and most external computer crimes arise, not from systematic attack, but by small groups, or, more likely, random malevolence and even curiosity run amok.

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