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GCN : June 2013
BY WILLIAM JACKSON 22 GCN JUNE 2013 • GCN.COM AN INTERNET THAT LEARNS TO DEFEND ITSELF During the first 40 years of the Internet, security has been about patching mistakes; the future will be about creating an environment that is secure by design, and protected by big data. The next 5 years in public-sector IT As GCN marks 30-plus years of covering public-sector IT, it's natural to look back at how quickly things have changed in three decades, from an IBM PC running BASIC to a battery-powered smart phone now being used by NASA as a tiny satellite. And we do plenty of that elsewhere in this issue. But what lies ahead? We checked in with IT experts in government and industry for their views. The pace of change tends to accelerate, so we didn't ask them to walk the high wire of a 30- year future timeline, but to look ve to 10 years ahead. What follows are projections in four key --- and converging --- areas in public-sector IT: big data and analytics, cybersecurity, data centers and mobile computing. We didn't break out cloud computing into a separate area because the cloud will hover over all of the others, as data centers go virtual, agencies try to harness colossal amounts of data, mobile computing branches out into new areas, and a budding cyber ecosystem tries to keep it all secure. • During the first 40 years of the Internet, security has been about patching mis- takes that have been made in its architec- ture and software and defending these vulnerabilities against attacks from the outside. The future will be about creating an environment that is secure by design and has the ability to anticipate rather than merely respond to threats, govern- ment and industry experts say. This will not be a single secure infra- structure, but an ecosystem of technolo- gies designed to better handle the basic chores of systems development; iden- tity management and access control; and monitoring, analysis and response. "This does not mean perfect security, but instead a model that evolves and learns from change, whether process, technology or threat related," said Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA. The Internet was not designed to be secure. When originally launched by the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, it was not intended for public use. As it grew, de- velopment has always been more about what could be done with it rather than what should or should not be done. To- day the Internet has become integral to the economy and security, while cyberse- curity has become a front-page issue and observers see the need for fundamental shifts in the way we secure it. "We have a tendency to talk about the threat, and there's not a lot we can do about that," said Ron Ross of the Na- tional Institute of Standards Technology, who heads the implementation program for the Federal Information Security [30 years of government IT]