Security to Become Top Priority for Next Generation of the Web

The next generation of the Internet, Internet 4.0, will be a digital gated community, with tightly control borders that permit or deny entrance to visitors.

That’s at least what Tom Kellermann believes, and he would know. As vice president of cyber security for Trend Micro, an Internet security provider, and as Commissioner of President Obama’s Commission on Cyber Security, Kellermann has assessed all the threats, and understands what the next generation of Internet security will look like.

“Because of the overt colonization going on in cyber space by nation states and organized crime, what we have to grapple here with is that inevitably the next web, the web 4.0 experience, will be one where the elite actors, the corporations, the nation states, the wealthiest individuals will essentially have to migrate their data to a gated community in cyberspace,” he says.

While web 3.0 has been defined by the empowerment of mobile devices through cloud computing, Kellermann predicts that in the next five years the focus will shift towards maintaining tight security, a trend that will deeply impact how business is done in the future.

“That gated community is one where they’re only going to choose specific strategic partnerships, they’re only going to acquire specific companies, they’re only going to migrate their data to specific virtual instances based on the fact that that environment is more secure, based on the fact that environment doesn’t view security as an expense but rather a functionality of doing business in the next generation of the web,” he says.

While most companies currently consider a cost-benefit model when building their Internet security, Kellermann predicts that soon Internet security will be a top priority for governments, corporations, and consumers.

“You and I need to become very particular about who we do business with,” he says. “We in our own lives become more secure by choosing correctly those corporations that are taking this matter seriously, that believe in this construct.”

Kellermann adds that while people currently rate their Internet experience based on efficiencies, priority will soon shift towards security.

“For too long people have viewed their contracts, their purchases, their experiences online through the lens of efficiencies,” he says. “I think at this point we need to think about it from a sustainable perspective.”

Though the recent NSA spying scandal has caused many to reprioritize Internet security, Kellermann argues that the threats to personal information go well beyond the United States government.

“The US government does not have a monopoly on being Big Brother,” he says. “Anyone that can compromise computer networks and systems can have as much visibility into your systems as a regime could. I would personally prefer one big brother to 10,000.” 

Kellermann says that the best way for individuals, corporations, and governments to protect against cyber threats is to be proactive in protecting themselves.

“It’s an imperative. If you want to sustain your business, your own digital persona, your government services, etc., you have to think about security first,” he says. “You can’t think of security as something you retrofit on the backend of your planning, security can’t be retrofitted, it has to be built in from the foundation up.”