Oct 07 2013

Trend Micro’s 2020 Envisions a Minority Report-like Future of IT Security

The security company’s futuristic web series brings a new dimension to the looming threat posed by cybercrime.

When it comes to IT security, surveys, report cards and infographics are the usual methods of highlighting trends, predictions and threats that security vendors want companies and security professionals to be on the lookout for.

This time, Trend Micro decided a PDF alone wasn’t enough. Based on the “Project 2020 Scenarios for the future of cybercrime” report produced by the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance, the company has produced an ambitious web series called “2020,” which tells the story of a fictional European country called South Sylvania.

The company outlines its goal for the web series in a post on its corporate blog.

With 2020 we’re trying to get everyone from policy-makers and IT bosses to school kids, to start thinking about the future, how technology will influence our lives at the end of this decade and the implications for data security and privacy.

So often in the information security industry we restrict ourselves by operating to 12 month prediction cycles, but as we all know, advances in technology and online threats move at a much faster rate. IT professionals in particular need to think further into the future to better fortify their systems against attack and avoid wasted investments in outdated technology.

We hope this nine video series will help get the ball rolling.

Trend Micro describes South Sylvania as being a “technologically advanced nation where every citizen maintains multiple online profiles.”

In the first episode of the series, “Switched Off,” we’re introduced to Kinuko, a young woman who’s enthralled by her augmented reality lifestyle; James Carrington, South Sylvania’s former prime minister; Yanek, a cybercriminal; and a captain and a lieutenant in the South Sylvania Police department.

In “Switched Off,” the first episode in the web series, viewers are thrust into the hyper-futuristic world of South Sylvania. It’s a world where Google Glass-like devices called HYLARG are the norm and people walk around touching invisible user interfaces in the air, a la Tom Cruise’s Minority Report.

While the characters are fictional, the web series does feature real IT security smarts as Trend Micro Vice President of Security Research Rik Ferguson participates in the series as one of several interviews displayed in the episode’s introduction.

While South Sylvania might sound like a techie's dream come true, the technological nirvana turns dark as the country attempts to pull off its first all-digital election. Without warning, the country’s user authentication system known as “The Switch,” goes offline. In a country where technology is seen as a utility on par with electricity and water, what happens when the network is hijacked?

Watch Trend Micro’s first episode in the 2020 web series to find out.


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