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Digital Security – Past, Present and Future

Once upon a time security was only something governments and corporations were concerned about and those security concerns were primarily focused around physical security. Throughout the 20th century the digital world expanded in such a a way that it penetrated the lives of nearly everyone. This new era of digital data brought with it many security concerns not only for governments and corporations, but for individuals using this new technology.

Security in the digital world goes well beyond just that of physical security, although physical security is often something that is overlooked in modern day security plans. There are a multitude of security concerns that are commonly addressed today. These include such things as the aforementioned physical security, network security, virus/malware detection and elimination, IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems), employee backgrounds checks, business policies (acceptable use policy, internet policy, etc.), identity and authorization management, encryption, mobile security, and social engineering (manipulating people into performing actions to bypass security) to name just a few.

The digital world has brought with it a very complex set of security issues and as technology changes the security footprint that must be addressed also changes. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to understand all the security risks involved with the implementation of new technology. It often takes the widespread use of a piece of technology before all the security issues with that technology are vetted. This can make securing a large government or corporate infrastructure extremely difficult. Digital (IT) security plans are now commonplace and a vital item for all entities to have. In today's world security experts are in high demand and they play a critical role in securing our digital world by defining security plans and performing security assessments.

The future of digital security will be largely determined by the technology created. Despite the unknown changes to come, there are likely to be several security concerns that will persist. Physical security and social engineering will certainly be valid issues well into the future. Security concerns revolving around mobile devices and cloud computing/storage will also continue to rise. Another large security concern that is on the rise today deals with vendor security and a business being subject to the security risks associated with those they do business with. Vendor security includes all entities that do work onsite (such as janitorial services, HVAC services) as well as businesses providing IT services, software and hardware to an organization. These concerns will also continue well into the future.

Digital security is now a part of the fabric of business and our daily lives. As times change, technology will change and security will need to adapt. As we embrace technology we will need to remember the security issues it presents. From this day on, knowing or becoming a digital security expert is likely in all of our futures.