Security, big data, growth and Dotcom

People accuse Kim Dotcom of many things, both good and bad and not always without merit. However whatever your views of his exploits, one thing you can't take away from the eccentric German -- and now Kiwi adoptee -- is the fact that he has completely redefined the word "Dotcom". Sure there was all that interweb stuff too, but let's focus on the superficial first.

In fact Mr Dotcom has created quite the generational gap; those who entered IT in the last decade or so assign an entirely different meaning to the words "Dotcom bust" than the generation before them. Perhaps renaming oneself after what was possibly the biggest bubble burst ever, pre-GFC anyway, wasn't such a good idea. But I digress.

It would be tempting to predict that 2012 will be remembered as the new "Dotcom year", kicking off with the now infamous raids and leading onto a fascinating return legal -- and public relations -- assault by the big man. The truth is that the whole thing's only just getting started.

Many more chapters will be written before we shut the curtains on 2013, both in terms of the legal challenges and counter-challenges, but also with the Dotcom empire's next strike back: the new Mega. For those that don't know, Mega, scheduled to launch on January 20, is intended to be a tool that encrypts all internet-based communications, end to end, and easily plugs into more or less anything web-enabled.

And could the perfect storm be approaching for Mega? By the time you read this we'll all know whether the ITU's first attempt to take over the internet was successful. If so, Dotcom's new Mega could enjoy major success; there's nothing like a bit of attempted command and control to fire people up about countering it. The ITU could write all the road rules they want for the information superhighway, but it's all a bit meaningless if you can no longer see the traffic. But if ITU fails this time, they'll have another crack by the end of the year.

This whole Dotcom fiasco has re-opened another can of worms of course, putting copyright and intellectual property back on the agenda after the outrage over Section 92a and ACTA had almost died away. With strong political pressure to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in 2013 (which "coincidentally" is clear of election cycles), expect to see more on IP in the next 12 months.

While there is clearly big money pushing our government to buckle to the US on overly strict copyright rules (as evidenced by the all-out PR assault by US-aligned groups and their lackeys in recent weeks), it'll really come down to who blinks first. When the dust settles I predict we'll see similar results as with ACTA, with the final IP chapter generally far more watered down than the US would like. The backlash from any other result would surely be too harmful politically.

What of the cloud and big data?

The commoditisation of IT services and infrastructure via the cloud will continue relatively unabated in 2013. Cracks will begin to appear in some areas and general unease will ensue following a significant outage by at least one major player. Growing adoption of the next generation of cloud services, hybrid applications that continue to function when the connection to "the cloud" is lost, will follow. Wider HTML5 browser compatibility will speed this model along.

As it continues to become easier and cheaper for organisations to record and store everything, big data will get even... erm... bigger. The cloud will bring even more inexpensive data analysis and visualisation tools online, putting big data in the hands of smart SMEs and making information useful again.

Government ICT

Unfortunately there will undoubtedly be more security and privacy breaches within government in 2013, especially in the current environment where everyone's looking. But this won't be restricted to government, with the private sector also falling foul of good security practice.

This will lead to a few well overdue changes. Firstly, the Privacy Commissioner's powers will finally be beefed up to the extent that she'll actually be able to do something about privacy breaches, as novel a concept as that might be. And secondly, independent accreditation of senior IT professionals will become a greater priority for the government and industry -- as will good IT governance.

Thus, I "predict" a fairly major move by the Institute of IT Professionals early in the new year that may well lead to considerably more attention on the industry's independent overarching professional accreditation, ITCP. Stay tuned...

Exporting tech. And tech companies.

Export from Kiwi tech companies will continue to grow at a strong but sustainable pace, aided by a growing reputation helped by the Hobbit films. While not naming names, we'll see the first Kiwi billion-dollar software company by the end of 2014. Watch this space.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side of the ledger you sit, the recent trend of kiwi tech companies being bought out by global giants will continue if not accelerate.

And don't forget Wheedle!

Wheedle will be back for a while -- along with a few others having a crack at TradeMe's business. None will be sufficiently cashed up to make a real dent however, and Codemania's Ben Gracewood will continue to make a sport out of publishing their unforgiveable security holes. When the dust settles, Kiwis will still be buying and selling on TradeMe. Unless Facebook launches auctions -- then it might get interesting.

And to finish where we started, Kim Dotcom will celebrate 2014's New Years Eve still on New Zealand soil. But this time the only fireworks will be figurative.

Paul Matthews is chief executive of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsintellectual propertysecuritycopyrightlegalsoftwareData management

More about FacebookIT ProfessionalsITU

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Paul Matthews

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place