The Cyber Security Environment to 2022: Trends, Drivers and Implications

44 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2013

See all articles by Benoit Dupont

Benoit Dupont

University of Montreal - School of Criminology

Date Written: 2012


This report identifies nine emerging technological trends based on 21 technological foresight documents published by various specialized businesses and public agencies. These trends bring together technologies with the potential to initiate lasting transformation in the digital ecosystem, which we define as all of the infrastructure, software applications, content, and the social practices that determine how the ecosystem is used. The notion of an ecosystem allows us to examine in an integrated manner the interactions between the technical, economic, social, political and legal dimensions of this complex assemblage. These nine trends are as follows: 1) Cloud computing; 2) Big data; 3) The Internet of things; 4) Mobile Internet; 5) Brain-computer interfaces; 6) Near-field communication (NFC) payments; 7) Mobile robots; 8) Quantum computing; 9) Internet militarization/weaponization. The most frequently appearing implications include the increased number of opportunities for malicious attacks, the lack of consideration for security needs during the development of the technologies in question, even when these technologies are used to carry out financial transactions, the dilution of mechanisms for controlling system integrity because of the ever-increasing interconnection of machines, or the erosion of user privacy, including personal information that represents an irresistible source of added value to organizations.

A few of the following themes that appear common to all nine trends are also mentioned in the conclusion: the interdependence of the technologies examined, which will require the implementation of integrated security policies to prevent a counterproductive fragmentation of resources; the expansion and diversification of the digital ecosystem, which will also require sophisticated coordination policies; the transformation of the notion of privacy; the convergence of the problems of cyber security with those of human security; the indispensable balance between having adequate cyber security and maintaining the economic and technical competitiveness that depends on a certain regulatory freedom; the risks of groups of individuals adopting self-defence practices in the event states fail to provide security; and finally positive contributions of the nine trends to cyber security.

Keywords: cyber security, trends, forecasting, cloud computing, big data, internet of things, mobile internet, brain computer interfaces, NFC payments, mobile robots, quantum computing, internet militarization

Suggested Citation

Dupont, Benoit, The Cyber Security Environment to 2022: Trends, Drivers and Implications (2012). Available at SSRN: or

Benoit Dupont (Contact Author)

University of Montreal - School of Criminology ( email )

CP 6128 Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, QC H2P 2H4


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