Cyber Security is Doomed

I published this article on LinkedIn on March 23rd 2017, and rather than post a link to it I thought I’d share it here. 

Yes, I know that was a controversial headline deliberately cast to lure you into reading this article, but it’s also true: now I’ll tell you why. 

Cast your minds back to the late 90s / early 00s. It seemed like every aspect of IT was related to e- something. E-Business, e-commerce, e-procurement etc were all the rage. Everyone seemed to be talking about e-services of some sort, and there was a lot of hype and excitement about this new way of working. 

I even went out and bought cufflinks with an @ symbol on them as I was doing so much e-consultancy.

But then gradually, those bubbles seemed to disperse. They didn’t burst, it was more like bath bubbles slowly decaying and disappearing till you’re left in a tub full of water. E-business, e-everything became just business, the way everything was done. The plethora of web services and interconnectedness of things means that the e- is superfluous, it’s accepted as a given. 

My prediction is that soon – maybe within 5 years, certainly within 10 years – the word “cyber” will be dropped from all sorts of services and descriptions. Cyber security will become what it’s always been – security. Cyber crime will become just crime. Cyber awareness will become awareness. And so on…  

I think we’re close to that happening because something like 90% of crimes committed today have some form of cyber aspect, whether it’s the use of Google Maps for reconnaissance, social media to find out that someone is on holiday, LinkedIn to determine corporate structures and contacts for spear phishing etc. The use of cyber services to prepare for, to plan or to commit crime is now pretty much in 100%.

We use cyber services of some sort all the time, without thinking about it. They’re everywhere. For most people, it starts with their mobile phone, that helpful little GPS tracker which probably wakes you up in the morning, delivers your email, gives you access to social media etc. What about the computers in your car, on the bus / train / plane you take to work? Or in the stock booking systems for your favourite shops? Cyber enabled services are everywhere.

At what point do we accept that it’s how we do business, how we interact socially, how we live, and drop the prefix cyber? That’s why I said at the beginning that cyber security is doomed. In the end, we’ll just be talking about security, without any prefixes, which in my mind is a good thing.

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