The problem with security is that the bad guys are, by definition, one step ahead of the good guys. It is always a game of ‘catch up.’
This is true at every level of sophistication. At the state level, the battle is being funded and fought by states. At the other end, the battle is more like an ongoing skirmish.
With the escalation of security breaches over the last two years, you would perhaps be forgiven for throwing in the towel and letting the looters run wild.
Yet every ongoing and escalating risk brings with it a reward just as great. It is as true with security as with everything else.
As a result, every part of the security world is receiving greater attention and a new flood of investment. Data encryption start-ups, for example, have attracted over $100 million over the last few months in the race to find ‘privacy-enhancing computation’ solutions. This new buzzword, Gartner believes, will be ‘the trend’ to watch this year and through to 2025, when half of the organisations will have implemented some sort of privacy-enhancing computation. Essentially, it allows organisations to work on data without decrypting it, which will go a long way towards solving some of the vulnerabilities of working remotely.
Other areas are receiving greater attention and funding. One area which will surely be the jackpot for those who solve it is the password problem.
Passwords should be yesterday’s problem. But with security issues, there is always inertia to contend with. And inertia is an Achilles Heel in any arena.
If you conducted a survey (using a truth serum) asking people’s attitudes and habits around security, most would tell you that they use the same password for most of the apps they use. And too many of those passwords will be a combination of their pet’s name and birthday or phone number.
There must be a solution in the wings.
Now that investors are paying attention to the opportunities with security, the convergence of hardware and software innovation, the emergence of breakthroughs in biometrics, we must be close.
Let us hope that we are close to a series of security solutions, which must be intuitive and robust in equal measure. And if we can turn the tide, then there will be new energy for the fight.