Here at Trend Micro, we’re always looking to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. This is no easy feat, especially when modern criminal organizations are well funded, incredibly agile and hold that vital trump card: the element of surprise. We’ve not done a bad job of it thus far, however and over the past 25 years have managed to be the first to protect our customers from emerging threats to physical servers, networks, gateways, cloud environments and mobile devices.
The key is to be constantly thinking about the future. What shape our society will take and how technology will influence it; to what extent we’ll come to rely on internet-connected devices and the emerging “internet of everything”; and, most importantly, how the cyber criminals might try to subvert this technology for their own ends. It’s an on-going effort and is embedded into the DNA of everything Trend Micro does to design its next generation products and services.
However, we’ve noticed that the debate about our cyber future is too often restricted to the information security industry. CSOs, researchers and occasionally law enforcers and academics attend conferences, network with each other and share their thoughts, which is great, but the debate should include all stakeholders. Ever used the internet? Then you should be thinking about the cyber future too – after all, online threats affect every one of us.
With that in mind we created Project 2020: the Series, an innovative series of nine web videos presenting the viewer with one hypothesised view of what the world might look like at the end of the decade. It’s just one suggestion, not a cast iron certainty, but we hope it’ll help to engage everyone from schoolkids to lawmakers in the debate about how cyber security should evolve and what the threats we’ll face a few years down the road may look like.
The story so far:
In the technologically advanced Republic of South Sylvania the internet is embedded into the very fabric of society. Each citizen maintains multiple digital identities – one for each aspect of their life – and switches securely from one to the other via a centralized authentication hub known as The Switch. Users consume perfectly personalized content, tailored by their content service provider, via headsets or beamed directly onto their retina, through specially designed contact lenses.
A massive cyber attack has struck the country on the eve of its first all-digital elections, with hackers attempting to steal the personal data of millions of registered voters. Without access to The Switch and reliant so heavily on internet-connected services, the country spirals into chaos. Trains derail, surgeons are locked out of operating theatres, banking systems are halted, staff can no longer work remotely…
Episode 6 leads us through another exciting instalment of the story as the law enforcement, under intense political pressure, zero in on their target – a hacktivist named Adam Cole.
Working now to secure your future
Trend Micro’s 2020: the Series is based on a white paper we prepared with Europol, commissioned by the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) – Project 2020: Scenarios for the Future of Cyber Crime. We hope the short videos we’ve produced on the back of this will capture your imagination and get you thinking more about our cyber future.
For one thing, our reliance on applications hosted in the cloud will require security firms like Trend Micro to put greater resources into protecting cloud-based data more intelligently, while the growth of internet-enabled devices as depicted in the videos means security must increasingly move with the user, not stick to the device. An internet of everything is already emerging in our society thanks to the interconnectedness of ‘smart’ devices – from kettles to fridges, and TVs to mobile devices – so we must also be alert to threats at the network level.
We’re really hoping to blaze the trail with 2020: the Series, so click through today to join the debate and see what all the fuss is about. Watch Episode 6 here.