Happy Halloween - Putting the Genie Back Into the Bottle

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According to US Law Enforcement Agencies, it would seem that the interconnected society of the Internet, and by inference its association with international economies of trading nations are implicated under the shadow of the current climate of cyber-threats.

This revelation I feel for most of is somewhat of a non-disclosure, as we were likely to already be  aware of this circumstance. Now with this accepted fact in mind, consider adding this into the Halloween Cauldron of the analyst predictions that by the year 2020 the global population will be at around 7.6 billion, an era in which there will be an estimated 50 billion connected devices in circulation.

It may be that we can also assume that, by that time the developed society will have been taken even further down the ‘online or the highway’ mantra with the options of the populous being moved further toward the keyboard and mouse to accommodate their commercial interaction with the window of domestic commercialisation.

What I find surprising is those who I would have expected to have prepared our society, and to maintain the required level of vigilance over the creep of technology, have taken their eye of the ball for some considerable time. For example, when attending an Infosecurity event around 2006 I was in a discussion with a member of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) about what I saw as the imposition of the new and growing cyber-threat, which at this time, in my humble opinion was not being taken seriously. The response was that the then cyber-threat was over hyped, and could result in the dangers as were being suggested.

Over the preceding decades we have also seen the evolutionary progress drive us away from the techno-firewalling which was invoked by those unfriendly, unreachable, and hardware protected systems, and those little bits of kit in the guise of the LU 6.2 for protecting sensitive data.

But then someone somewhere had that bright idea that the new age of client server had arrived. And when that was tied into the opportunities presented by commercial off-the-shelf products (COTS), many industries could see a new age dawn of cheap-and-cheerful cost savings emerging from the expensive mist of IBM, Tandem, or whatever other unfriendly systems were being run to support business operability.

And to make life even easier, in this new age of interaction we could assist the users by provisioning them with floppy disks, and a whole host of other localised functionality to make the personal experience of the personal computer even more productive and enjoyable.

However, even at the juncture when many were considering that the Big Bang approach was possibly flawed, they nevertheless continued to follow the Yellow Brick Road of technology, with some running out to reduce costs even further by adopting the disastrous approach that was bring your own device (BYOD) to complete the circle of insecurity.

As Halloween 2015 emerges from the crypt, it may be that we have arrived at a gate with a single hanging on the cross-bar which says ‘welcome to the world of cyber insecurity’ - also known as ‘you’ve got it wrong, and so time to think again’. But as if that were not worrying enough, when it comes to the Talk Talk debacle and the arrest of a 15-year old, are we really looking at the generation which can take ‘sweets from adults’, or are we simply focusing on the low end opportunistic small-fry or the ghouls little helpers?

I am not jumping on the bandwagon, I am just shouting for the sake of it: I am simply voicing the opinion that, things are not going well in the world of technology right now, and we need to step back to try and place the genie back in the bottle. It may not want to go in, but that should not stop us trying to do so.

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