The great non-event of Y2K happened twenty years ago. Those of us in IT at that time weren’t partying like it was 1999, we were standing by making sure the systems we were responsible for could handle the date change. Fortunately, the hard work of many paid off and the entry into the 21st century was smooth. Many things have changed in IT over the last 20 years, but many things are pretty similar.
What has changed?
- Pagers disappeared (that’s a good thing)
- Cell phones became smartphones
- IoT devices began to proliferate
- The cloud appeared and became a dominant computing architecture
- CPU power and storage has vastly increased
- Big data and data analytics
- More computing power has led to the rise of Machine Learning in certain areas
- Cybersecurity, identity management, and privacy grew into discrete disciplines to meet the exponentially growing threats
- Many new domain- and geographic-specific regulations
- Attacker TTPs have changed and there are many new kinds of security tools to manage
- Businesses and governments are on the path to full digital transformation
What stayed (relatively) the same?
- Patching is important; for security rather than Y2K functionality
- Identity as an attack and fraud vector
- Malware has evolved dramatically into many forms, and is a persistent and growing threat
- IT is still a growing and exciting field, especially in the areas of cybersecurity and identity management
- There aren’t enough people to do all the work
What will we be working on in the years ahead?
- Securing operational tech and IoT
- Using and securing AI & ML
- Cybersecurity, Identity, and Privacy
What are the two constants we have to live with in IT?
Though we may not have big significant industry-wide dates like Y2K to work toward, cybersecurity, identity, and privacy challenges will always need to be addressed. Thanks to methodologies like Agile, DevOps, and SecDevOps, these challenges will continue to accelerate.