Wednesday, January 01, 2014

My #3 personal privacy and security prediction for 2014: Cyber won't be icky any more

I predict, and sincerely hope, that in 2014 most of us information security professionals will stop apologizing whenever we use the letters c-y-b-e-r like in cyber crime, or cyber security. I also predict/hope we will stop putting "cyber" in ironic air quotes or pronouncing it in a snide tone that implies we are above using words that the world has thrust upon us.

Let's face it, computers, networks, information systems, endpoints, digital devices, tablets, smartphones, Internet-enabled-DVD-players, Bluetooth insulin pumps, they are all cyber. 

So computer security, network security, information system security, endpoint security, digital device security, tablet security, smartphone security, Internet-enabled-DVD-player security, Bluetooth insulin pump security, they are all cyber security, or cyber-security, or cybersecurity.

In 2014 we are going to have to answer a lot of questions about the security of digital information. In our answers we can call it digital security, or refer to "the security of all things digital", but it is also okay to say cyber security. And referring to the bad guys as cyber criminals is a lot easier than saying "those who would subvert any or all things digital with criminal intent."

In 2013 there were times when I said things like cyber scammers and cyber scum well as cyber criminals. I'm not going to apologize for that because I think the general public gets what cyber means. It means all things digital, it means my data and the devices and systems that process and store them. Cyber security is about protecting that stuff. Let's save our erudition and expository powers for the many other, more complex and nuanced concepts that will need to be explained in 2014, like why public key encryption needs private keys, and what pseudo random number generators have done for us lately.

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