GitHub Says 2018 Is About Security, Net Neutrality

A tumultuous 2017 has left us with unfinished business heading into 2018. Both in politics and tech (and where those areas intercept), the New Year promises to be an important one. GitHub will continue to be a critical part of our daily lives; here’s how it sees 2018 going.

Jason Warner, GitHub’s senior vice president of technology, says “data will rule all.” In a GitHub blog post, he also notes: “Over the last several years, Cloud 1.0 has been about compute happening in big clouds, while Cloud 2.0 – which we are experiencing today and will continue to evolve – is all about data. This includes data movement and the tools and services that support it, such as services, analytics, and machine learning systems.”

Indeed, we see such a movement already beginning with Microsoft’s ‘intelligent edge, intelligent cloud’ initiative, which was central to its Build 2017 conference. Others, such as Amazon Web Services, continue to push forward into the cloud with their own initiatives.

Warner also has an interesting take on infrastructure. Specifically, he says, it will have its “Ruby on Rails moment,” where “new tools on the market will quickly accelerate ideas to production and decrease developer time spent tuning the knobs under the hood.” He says this movement will “free up application developers to do what they want to be doing – caring, feeding and nurturing their products.”

Two hot-button topics of 2017, security and net neutrality, will have their moment in 2018, as well. “The fragility of net neutrality and the rise of country-specific data localization laws will undoubtedly test the resilience not only of the internet, but the fabric of global society and how businesses work together worldwide,” says Warner. Since net neutrality has come back to the forefront with new U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who wants to eliminate it, the world braces for the impact of ISPs having more leverage over infrastructure (and potentially throttling service). Even companies that promise to uphold the spirit of net neutrality, specifically Comcast, could be quietly making moves behind the scenes to take advantage of new FCC rules (or lack thereof).

One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, security has surfaced as a priority for many. Between allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election – which included opposition emails pulled from a hacked server – and the various hacks that popped up in 2017 (like Yahoo), we’re all more aware of how our data is secured (or not secured):

Many of the world’s critical systems still aren’t hardened enough, and their surface area is only getting bigger. The steady stream of malware attacks we saw this year will only increase in frequency and as a result, we’ll start to see significantly more financial and development resources allocated for security. Security needs to be built into code development, not added in production. We’ll also see the rise of more intelligent systems, eventually culminating in a series of automatically secured layers.

If Warner is right, 2017 may have been stressful, but 2018 will be a true stress test. This GitHub commentary shows that, while we like to think of the new year as a new beginning, it’s just as much a continuation. Huge security and net neutrality implications linger, and those two topics will continue to frame our digital lives for the next twelve months.

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