CHAPTER 12Cyber Future

12.1 CYBERGEDDON

12.1.1 Choosing Our Tomorrow

An old proverb says that there are 10,000 tomorrows and that we should choose the tomorrow we want. How might the many futures of cyber risk play out? And which future should we choose?

We can't peek too far into the future, because technology and human change are inherently unpredictable (we really wish those 1950s forecasts of nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners had worked out) but let's say 5 to 10 years from now.

We will begin with Cybergeddon and later we'll consider Cybertopia.

The key trends that drive the Cybergeddon vision of the future are predominantly the negative ones: the growing numbers of cyber attacks, the increasing populations of cyber threat actors, the growing power of computing to inflict ever more severe attacks, and the escalating costs of reparations for breaching someone's data privacy, combined with the sheer scale of the growth of new software being produced with poor quality assurance (QA) levels.

12.1.2 Hacker Hordes Rise

We run the risk of the cyber attack community overwhelming society's ability to combat it. The various communities of threat actors, described in Chapter 5, are growing year by year. They reinvest their profits in developing new capabilities, and at present seem to be winning the arms race with the information technology (IT) security industry and law enforcement. There is a generation of highly educated graduates and technically proficient students in many ...

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