Prologue

We live in an age of great uncertainty – a period of unprecedented technical innovation that is transforming our lives. It is innovation that accelerates even as we harbor an unquiet sense of the unknown destination; where does all this new technology take us and what becomes of us in the process? Ray Kurzweil, a pre-eminent technology innovator spoke to this point of innovation acceleration at Harvard University, mindful he said of the "intertwined nature of the risks and benefits". It was February 2005. If only it could be slowed down enough that we can better understand the promise of its benefits and calculate the severity of its risks.

But innovation cannot be slowed; it runs along its own course with a gathering momentum fuelled by competitive global markets and not beholden to any other law than the one that states simply: "technology begets technology at an ever-increasing rate."

Nowhere is the uncertainty associated with accelerating innovation more pronounced than in the world of cyberspace, where information technology insinuates itself into every nook and corner and then transforms itself with blinding speed. In the world of cyberspace, we are faced with the challenge of trying to secure new territory without having entirely figured out how to protect the present – the cyber security dimension of cyberspace.

It is perhaps easiest to illustrate the challenge we face by recalling the well-known story of the frog in the cauldronof boiling water. A frog that is dropped ...

Get Security in a Web 2.0+ World: A Standards-Based Approach now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.