The year is 2020. You live a life so similar and yet very different from the one you lived a few years back. Cloud based technologies and ubiquitous internet connected devices have made life so much easier than it was in the past. You consume personalized content beamed directly onto specially crafted contact lenses by your Content Service Provider. You alternate between multiple online profiles via The Switch, a nationwide secure authentication hub. You and the society you live in are totally and utterly reliant on internet –based services. You are never offline.
This is a world imagined not by Hollywood studio bosses or science fiction writers but Trend Micro. It forms the backdrop to 2020: the Series, a ground breaking new web video project designed to get people thinking more about their cyber future. Now, in this brave new world – the fictional Republic of South Sylvania – imagine what might happen if the cyber criminals successfully infiltrated and subverted this technology-dependent society.
Today, we see daily attacks on critical infrastructure, sophisticated cyber intrusions designed to steal national secrets, and malware like Stuxnet successfully making the leap from virtual to physical worlds. Clearly, this cyber future has in many ways already begun. As an IT security company with 25 years’ experience protecting our customers from the latest threats, be they home users or the largest multinationals, it’s our responsibility to start thinking about worst case scenarios. The threat landscape moves so fast, blink and you’ll miss it, so it pays to plan ahead – as far ahead as we can.
On the eve of South Sylvania’s first ever all digital elections a massive cyber attack has struck, with the aim of stealing the personal data of the voting population. It has taken down The Switch, meaning the country’s citizens are unable to switch between their online personas. As a result, no-one can work remotely; doctors cannot operate; banks, hospitals and shops are crippled; transport systems are knocked offline, derailing trains. Lives are lost, politicians bicker and the police desperately search for the perpetrators, with only a few lines of malicious code to guide them.
This week we find out that the Switch outage has meant thousands are stuck in South Sylvanian airports, unable to check-in as their identities are locked into the wrong profiles. At the same time IT admins struggle to get the all-important authentication hub back online, still unsure which software version was compromised. Over at police HQ the cops are finally zeroing in on their targets while the politicians, as ever, try to manipulate the situation to their own ends.
Project 2020 – leading by example
2020: the Series is based on a white paper drawn up by Trend Micro and Europol for the non-profit International Cyber Security Protection Alliance, titled Project 2020: Scenarios for the Future of Cybercrime. We hope the short 4-minute bursts of video encourage more people to engage with the project and join the debate about the future of cyber security – because it’s a future that affects us all.
At Trend Micro we provide the 3 C’s to offer our customers: complete end-user protection; cloud and data center security; and cyber security defenses. But our ability to do so in the future is dependent on how well we can anticipate where the threat landscape is headed. If Project 2020 can teach us anything it’s that vendors such as Trend Micro must continue to hone and optimize their solutions to protect cloud-based data; work harder to secure the “internet of everything”; and protect our customers as they move between public and private networks.
The future’s just around the corner, so click through today and join us on the journey.