The techniques of cyber criminals are rapidly evolving and, to the lay computer user, are frankly becoming scarier by the day. The sheer scale of organised cybercrime is quite mind-boggling, as illustrated by the fact that a hacking syndicate from Russia called CyberVor stole some 1.2 billion unique username and password combinations from 420,000 websites, in addition to 500 million unique email addresses.
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Such ‘hyperscale’ attacks urge us to reflect on the future of cyber security. Perhaps this is where we are going in the coming years:
Global cops and robbers
A trend in cyber security that is likely to become commonplace in coming years is more globalisation, that is, the pooling of resources across international and organisational boundaries to boost industries’ cybersecurity.
One example is Europol’s recent launch of a specialised action unit called the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, or J-CAT, which was set up in part by the NCA (The UK-based National Crime Agency), the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, and the FBI .
Troels Oerting, who heads the European Cybercrime Centre, is optimistic about the new taskforce:
“For the first time in modern police history a multi-lateral permanent cybercrime taskforce has been established in Europe to coordinate investigations against top cybercriminal network [and Oerting is] confident we will see practical tangible results very soon.”
Aspiring towards the unhackable
Another likelihood is that the science behind cyber security will grow more sophisticated. Traditionally, sensitive data has been transferred over the net by means of encryption, which relies on keys being tacitly exchanged between sender and receiver. However, hackers are getting increasingly adept at breaking even the highest grades of internet encryption.
A potential new technique for defeating the hackers is known as ‘quantum cryptography,’ in which photons are used to physically transfer a shared secret between two entities.
This technology, though restricted by the distance the beams of light can currently travel, has been reported as “probably secure” and is already being used by some banks.
A different kind of CIO
Finally, cyber prophet Keith Trippet, writing for Federal News Radio, believes that on the executive level, the CIO’s role will be very different in the future. In his mind, CIOs will be far less hands-on technically and will instead focus a lot more on strategy, even to the extent that the job might claim a new title – ‘Chief Strategy Officer’, or CSTO. There are already signs of this, e.g. the growing demand for enterprises to be compliant and accountable for their security policies.
IT security management could indeed look very different in 10 years’ time.
Acumin is an international Information Security and Information Risk Management recruitment specialist. The company works with a variety of markets comprising of End Users, IT Security Vendors, Systems Integrators and Consultancies.
Acumin provides a range of specialist services which include contingency Permanent Recruitment, Contract Recruitment and retained Executive Search. For SMB and Enterprise End User clients, Acumin facilitates the development of internal Information Security and Risk Management teams across the UK, Europe and United States.