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Just another security list? Don't be short-sighted, think ahead…

25 Nov 2013

Whether it be in our daily life, business productivity or even national security, cyber security is an issue for the masses.

Yet despite such widespread familiarity with the term, unfortunately, the masses lack a deep understanding of the breadth and complexity of cyber.

Speaking exclusively to Techday.com, Trend Micro's Global VP of Security Research Rik Ferguson talks about a need for both the consumer and the company to look past the common 12 month cycle of security awareness.

Introducing "2020", a story about the near future based on an ICSPA report entitled Project 2020 by Trend Micro.

The video project takes the form of a fictional web series presenting the evolution of society and technology in the world described by the report, showing how the advancement of mobile and cloud based technology has influenced the way we interact with other and with the world, how we work and how we perceive reality.

The series consists of nine episodes, as covered weekly by Techday.com, taking place in a fictitious country in Central Europe; The Republic of South Sylvania.

It is technologically, the most advanced country in the region, home to the best Digital Design University in the world, premier nano-technology research and is the crossroads of the main fibre optic lines flowing through the continent.

Celebrating 25 years of Trend Micro, Ferguson was clear when asked the reason behind the series.

"When it comes to security, the world operates in 12 months cycles," Ferguson says. "Usually from October onwards company's reel off lists of Top Security Predictions for (insert year), and which promotes a short-sighted approach.

"While they are useful predictions, providing they are actionable, which give consumers and companies something to focus their 12 months planning around, such approaches are preventing them from seeing the bigger picture.

"If we force people to think and operate in 12 month security cycles we're stopping them from seeing the bigger picture.

"As technology evolves beneath us, it is important to offer a long-term approach - hence our 2020 Series."

Ferguson insists the purpose of the series is to instill a more forward-thinking style of planning, based on being proactive within the security space, rather than the reactive methods currently deployed at present.

"We wanted to envision where technology, and its subsequent threats, was going to go," Ferguson says. "But it's not just about identifying the problems and resolving them, it's about encouraging development with security in mind.

"That can be as simple as talking to the people who are developing products, and saying 'look, these are the holes we keep leaving, and as we become more connected the more far-reaching the damage could be.'

"It's important to move away from trying to get a produce to market and worrying about the bugs later - architects must develop and design with security in mind."

According to the white paper research, the world is becoming more connected and as a consequence, we are leaving ourselves open to exploitation.

"When you live with someone you don't ever see them getting older but if you only see them six months of the year you do," Ferguson says.

"That same can be said for technology, as we don't notice just how much we're adopting new technology and changing constantly.

"The year 2020 seems far away but it isn't, and we all need to be aware of this."

To read Ferguson's advice for the coming years, check back to Techday.com on Wednesday for the second part of this exclusive interview.