IT industry trends for 2015: cheap storage and a multi-tier internet

The year of cyber-retaliation

Last month's disruptive and highly embarrassing cyber-attack against Sony Pictures raises a frightening spectre for US businesses: the escalating use of malicious software that can harvest, leak and destroy data as retaliation for political and business activities deemed offensive or inconvenient by subversive organisations and governments.

Russia, China and the US, all three of which have in the past been suspected of low-scale cyber-attacks against Western and Eastern targets have now been joined, it is believed, by North Korea in the cyber-warfare league.

One thing is for sure, regardless of whether these governments, or dissident groups within these countries, view data erasure and other cyber-attacks as effective retaliation when offended, businesses worldwide should make 2015 the "year of backing up sensitive files", as cyber-attacks as a form of industrial sabotage look set to continue and grow.

We need to secure the Internet of Things

At this stage, it's hard to imagine that the growing Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace will suddenly collapse given the insatiable appetite for internet-connected everything.

However, there remain concerns about what could hinder its growth, such as cyber-hacking and a general lack of security, as IoT device makers focus on functionality rather than security which could hinder the ability to freely and easily connect.

Nonetheless, the market is roaring and I expect that companies involved with the IoT will implement workarounds to mitigate security issues – largely after incidents happen – in order to keep alive the enormous market and revenue potential for this industry.

What that does mean is privacy concerns will grow as people will become more aware of just how easy it is to see what's happening inside other folks' homes and businesses. Weak security in 2015 will play its part in allowing privacy to slowly fade away for everyone. As IoT users share more details it will be critical to find solutions that are trustworthy as well as functional.