The world is becoming more and more “virtual” every day. Even environments that have nothing to do with gaming and adventuring have started to go virtual. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.
It’s exciting because there are so many things that we can do in VR and a whole new world is literally being built right before our eyes. It’s terrifying because, unlike in standalone games and virtual environments, anybody can get into VR and mess it up for everybody else. And, unfortunately, a virtual security breach doesn’t stay “virtual” for very long—it infects our “real” world incredibly quickly—often before we know what has happened.
Last year, information security and the privacy of data on social media platforms became victims of multiple threats. Surveillance programs from the NSA and the Edward Snowden saga were revealed, inciting a wave of fragmentation within the IT community.
In December 2013, it was reported that more than 2 million social media accounts were hacked, leading to concerns about information and identity theft on all of the networking sites. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement was another focal point of discussion for the business community, and the need for stringent regulations being emphasized.
None of those threats stayed confined to the virtual social or cloud networks on which they originated. We don’t need to point out the Target breach to remind you of that.
Experts believe that 2014 will be marked by an increased global IT association for resolving security issues, especially in the areas of data piracy and cyber security.
These are the trends you should be watching for…
1. Parallel Security Networks
Keep an eye out for the fragmentation of the internet as a result of the spying behaviors of security agencies. Parallel security networks could become a major phenomenon—making it possible for companies to protect their own data as well as that of their customers.
2. Intrusion Detection
Intrusion is another area that could see some major advancements. Social media has been compromised a lot in the last year and the beginning of this year. Remember when Microsoft’s own social media accounts were hacked? This means that detection mechanisms and real time protection are going to be a major part of the agenda within the big computing enterprises for the rest of the year.
3. PIE approach
In a recent analysis, Trend Micro highlighted that a PIE model would suit internet securityin the world of social media. PIE refers to Protection, Intuition and Education. This model can cater to all major issues we’ve already talked about.
- Protection caters to intrusion detection mechanisms and data security.
- Intuition is about protective behavior on social media that prevents identity theft.
- Education is all about awareness and can be effectively used by both individuals and enterprises.
4. Security Programs
The Global State of Information Security survey indicates that companies learned from their mistakes in 2013 and will be focusing on essential safeguards for effective security. This will include steps towards written security policies, enhanced encryption, monitoring programs, employee security awareness programs and related security inventories.
5. Management of portable devices
A new trend emerged in 2013 called “ransomware.” Ransomeware is a malware that paralyzes users’ operating systems and accuses them of having viewed illegal content. The only “solution” is for the user to pay a fine to get the system would be unlocked. A large chunk of the population keeps its data (even financial) on devices such as smartphone and tablets. This makes all of those systems potential targets for ransomware. So, another trend that we might see is the usage of multiple proactive layers of security to help circumvent these issues.
Cloud computing and security was another trending topic last year and continues to trend in 2014. The focus now is on using this technology in a privacy centric manner. This is because concerns have been raised over the security and privacy of confidential data. Enterprises, in order to gain trust, will look at addressing these concerns and will perhaps propose regulatory changes.
For the rest of 2014, Internet security issues will be more centered towards information control, particularly in virtual reality, the cloud and the other areas we’ve talked about here. Technological improvements are expected of course, but a major change will need to be seen in the regulatory ecosystem regarding the information exchange channels as enterprises and as individuals look to create secure passages within the diverse internet and the VR channels in which they are spending increasing amounts of their time.