Computing is becoming increasingly pervasive and enhancing nearly all aspects of personal life and business, creating more and more opportunity for innovation, but also more and more threats. Sight, sound, and touch technologies allow people to experience the world differently and to interact with it and with each other in new and remarkable ways. Everyday objects are becoming smarter and more connected, driving the next wave of computing. Businesses are building deeper real-time connections with their suppliers, partners, governments, and customers, collecting and selectively sharing vast amounts of data. The value of stored and in-transit information is rising rapidly, fueling new markets, creating a need for securely connecting devices, delivering trusted data to the cloud, and deriving value through analytics.
Like anything of value, information is also attracting the attention of adversaries looking for new ways to steal it, leverage it, and benefit from it. Although people often think of organized crime and other criminals, potential adversaries also include hacktivists, nation-states, and others not necessarily seeking direct financial gain. As we look ahead to the personalization and consumerization of cyberattacks, adversaries may also include a competitor, political opponent, spouse, neighbor, or other personal nemesis, as well as the rising activity of chaotic actors who just want to see things burn.
As our computing becomes an extension of the individual, making our environment smarter, contextually aware, and better connected, everything will begin to change. Passwords will finally be replaced by a more sophisticated system of managing and authenticating credentials, and trust will be cultivated into a vital part of our online and electronic activities. Value, transparency, and consent will become important concepts in our digital vocabulary. And personal data will rise in value not only to us, but also to our adversaries.