Friday, April 06, 2012

Cyber Hacks: Which Analogy Applies?

The state of the art in dealing with cyber hacking is that it is inevitable, and that "damage mitigation" is the best that security specialists can ultimately do to protect your proprietary data and customer info, etc. See for example the article in Dark Reading via Information Week.

I will have more to say on this in future posts, but I think we can actually learn a lot about the likely future on data security from historical real-world analogies. For instance, if cyber security is now in its "Wild Wild West" phase, then we can anticipate that eventually the state of the art will evolve so that platforms, databases, programming tools, datacomm, and other elements in the data management ecosphere will become much more security-oriented and that a layered version of "law enforcement" will replace the shoot-em-up, every man for himself, outlaw-ridden cyber reality we live in now.

On the other hand, we could be in for a kind of Afghanistan situation, which for centuries has been ungovernable, ridden with tribal feuds, and vulnerable to spawning/tolerating groups like the Taliban, with no hope in sight for changing this reality. That would be a grim vision, indeed.

There are other socio-political analogies possible, such as Europe in the 20th century, which fought two horrendous internecine wars and spent the last half of the century trying to unify, at least economically, in a federated, peaceful environment, but seems to have built a ship that is leaking badly and could still sink.

And on and on. But the cyber security scenario of today WILL evolve. What's your version of the best historical analogy for where it may be headed?

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