Tuesday, March 10, 2015

'Hackority' Report

"Mr. Marks, by mandate of the District of Columbia Precrime Division, I'm placing you under arrest for the future murder of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin that was to take place today". It sounds like science fiction future, right? The question is ... how long? Today the field of cybersecurity sounds more than ever like 'Minority Report', the film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg.

A post in the specialized section The Security Download of the Wall Street Journal says it verbatim: "Artificial intelligence and machine learning are playing a larger role in cybersecurity, which can in theory help companies identify risks and anticipate problems before they occur". They are new techniques (rather than technologies) that come to stay, allowing faster identification of vulnerabilities, increasing detection rates and discovering yet unknown attack vectors, says the CIO of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Paul Stokes.
In this scenario, firms have two options: radical transformation, which implies operating in a state of perpetual beta; or continuing with business as usual, which means it will become less operational. In the world's most famous intelligence agency, the CIA, this is clear, so they want to go further and further. Its new Directory of Digital Innovation seeks the greatest transformation in 70 years, and also emphasizes cyber espionage capabilities.

More and more resources. We repeat it again and again: this is one of the few fields where we may find certain sustained and assured growth. Besides this CIA transformation, Pentagon has announced the hiring of infosec pros. How many? 100, 300, 500? Nope. Nothing less than 3.000. What a hit. All of them in payroll of North American authorities. Crisis? What crisis?

Are you ready to become a "precrime"? Maybe it's too early to anticipate all crimes, but not to be a keen observer of reality and determine how the Internet influences it. The British parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has had a stroke of insight: the "Silk Road" that serves as a online market for drugs could help reduce street crime. If we add it to the growing capacity of technological observation, and the need for safe routes for governments themselves for facing international attacks, perhaps the intelligent thing (suggested by the office), is Tor network not to be seen as an enemy, as it has been done up to now, but a potential ally.

Science fiction? Are you sure? Better you choose to leave your comfort zone. The world changes everyday, and if you don't change with it, you can become offside.


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