Sunday, June 4, 2017

Global Tends 2030: Five Year Touch Point


When the authors of “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” published their paper in December 2012 they nailed it!  Although the authors artfully state they do not seek to predict the future, the article reminded me of the years when Ted Koppel of Nightline would host the annual prognosticator show on December 31st. 
Nearly five years later after the paper was published, several strategic impacts have come into fruition which reinforces the possible trajectories during the next 15-20 years the authors posited:  BREXIT (a black swan), apparent U.S. isolationism (a stalled engine), and a potentially reforming Iran (another black swan).

Underpinning megatrends that would shape the world in 2030, the authors posit several tectonic shits which would critically change how the world “works” including wider access to lethal and disruptive technologies, like cyber weapons, to thugs, criminals, and as Putin calls them….patriots.   
An area of recent exploitation by miscreants has been the use of Internet of Things (IOT) to launch attacks.   IOT’s lack of interoperability, increasing functionality, and absent standards aid in the expansion of the attack surface, providing a breeding ground for cybercriminals to exploit IOT devices for financial gain, steal PII, or harvest a large cache of compromised devices in order to disrupt legitimate business operations.   In one example of relatively low-tech attacks executed by non-state actors with huge disruptive implications were the Mirai attacks last fall.  According to the FBI, in October 2016, a domain name service (DNS) host and Internet management company for more than 80 Web sites experienced at least two waves of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack by botnets comprised of IOT devices believed to be infected with a variation of the Mirai malware.   The Mirai malware primarily targeted routers, digital video records, and security cameras by exploiting their use of default usernames and passwords and coordinating them into a botnet used to conduct DDoS attacks.

One industry that could be impacted by misuse of IOT is the healthcare industry due to its increasing use of IOT technology.  IOT is being used in healthcare to improve access to care, increase the quality of healthcare, and reduce the cost of healthcare.  For instance, IOT devices can be used in the clinical process to track hospital assets; IOT devices have replaced wired sensors for the remote monitoring of patients; and IOT devices are embedded into consumer medical devices to provide consumers with tools to manage their own healthcare between doctor visits.  
The key take away from this read is that that the external strategic environment counts when making strategic decisions and as the authors point out, the future is malleable with significant interplay of trends and human behavior.  Further as Porter points out, looking at the circle of rivals is not good enough, rather other influences determine profit and growth potential. 

Source:  FBI Private Industry Notification, October 26, 2016, PIN Number 161026-001; "The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things,” Daniel Kellmereit and Daniel Obodovski, DnD Ventures, 2013. 

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