Forecasts for 2012

It’s the time of year when pundits express opinions on the year ahead. And naturally I have my own views. Before that, let’s take a quick look at my forecasts for 2012. How well did I do? 

Last December I made six predictions for 2012.

1.       Space weather creates concern.
This risk didn’t create the level of concern I anticipated. Levels of solar activity have been relatively low lately. Looks like another Y2K. I fell for both. The lesson from this is that professionals with well-researched data are just as likely as anyone else to overstate the risk.

2.       Social networks get secure.
It’s happening, though very slowly. An increasing number of people are encrypting social media messages. Technology such as scrambls makes it easy. The rest is up to users. Some care, many don’t. That will change though it might a few years.   

3.       Big Data is the new black.
If the RSA Conference is anything to go by, then it’s true. The technology is here and it’s available in leading products such as QualysGuard. The know-how on how to exploit it however is thin on the ground. And we’ve yet to scratch the surface of what can be done. 

4.       The electronic Pearl Harbour strikes home.
I’ve been forecasting it for a decade and a half but it hasn’t happened, at least not in the form I expected. But awareness is considerably higher. Ten years ago people thought it was a wild exaggeration. Now they buy it; we’ve gone from denial to acceptance. But the disasters are still waiting to happen.  

5.       Public clouds fail to hit the spot.
Cloud services still have a long way to go, partly because of security and business continuity concerns. There is now a much wider understanding of the risks and how to address them. Paradoxically, Cloud security services are a compelling purchase and a big success.

6.       A new Global game – soft targets hit back.
If newspaper coverage is anything to go by then we are certainly into a new Great Game with angry reactions by those targeted or caught in the crossfire. This game is different as it’s impossible to keep things secret in a networked society.   

Not a bad set of forecasts, and at least they were reasonably interesting. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next time. 

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