It’s a truism that you need to keep learning, growing and challenging yourself. Information technology (IT) provides more opportunity for this compared to other fields — it seems every time you turn around there’s a new service, API product, business model and more. Sometimes the changes are incremental, and other times they force you out of your comfort zone. I have been forced out of my comfort zone many times over the years — Linux, Windows Vista (that wasn’t just me, right?), and in more recent times the shift to the cloud, to pick a few. All these changes and developments required me to learn and adapt — to find out the best way of working with these new tools, or new paradigms?
Before I get on my soapbox and discuss the problem of old technology versus security in today’s world, I’d like to share a bit of history of my experiences on internet, security and internet security. Like a lot of technology enthusiasts around my age, I started my life on the internet with dial-up and Windows 98SE. (Others would have used Windows 95–ME.) I’ve seen the transitions from dial-up to DSL to speeds that we used to only dream of. I was around when Microsoft ‘enforced’ (I’ll use the term loosely here) the use of the built-in firewall for Windows XP with Service Pack 2. I saw the attacks coming through for Wannacry, ILOVEYOU, Mydoom.
What a year. COVID-19 has left barely any aspect of our lives untouched, but in IT the change and acceleration it has wrought led to the pandemic being called ‘CIO of the year’ back in April. And it deserves that title, having shown businesses the value and necessity of investment in IT for working from home and without physical contact. Most of these technologies have been around for a while, and often employees were asking to use them but being refused by recalcitrant IT departments. Let’s go through some of them.