James Stikeleather, Chief Innovation Officer at Dell Services, gave an engrossing talk on the future of security. The consequences of the Web’s evolution are actually a co-evolution, he said, wherein people are becoming more co-dependent on technology and we are restructuring how we see data (augmented reality); while technology is becoming contextual, dependent on who is making the request, how and when they are making it, and what their intentions are in making it.
In such a fluid environment trust is essential, but can there realistically be trust? We have created an untrustworthy environment, Mr. Stikeleather said, and the tipping point will be smart phones in the enterprise. This technology in particular is creating greater cracks in a complex environment that exhibits a model that is destined to ultimately fail. Additionally, government and enterprise can’t agree on what the world should look like from a security perspective due to differing cultural concepts in cyberspace. What’s needed is a “Law of the Commons”: We’ve created rules for shared international usage of the world’s oceans and for outer space, and cyberspace should be no different.
At the end of the day, everything is an economic survival issue, Mr. Stikeleather said. The real value of the Web has been network effects. If we were to lose trust in privacy and security, we would lose the currency of that global network exchange and the associated economic model, which in turn could actually mean the collapse of the global economy, he said. And a catastrophic event is likely to happen, he predicted. What will the world without trust look like? A Feudal Cyber World: white lists, locked clients, fixed communication routes, locked and bound desktops, limited transactions, pre-established trading partners, information hoarders, towers of Babel.
We have a unique opportunity with Cloud, Mr. Stikeleather said, to get it right early and put thought into what the underlying structure of Cloud needs to look like, and how to conduct the contextual nature of evolving technology. Meantime, people should own the right to their own identity and control their information; and we need to secure data by protecting it within content.