The Imperfect Secret

the_imperfect_secret_cover_front_2bBy 2020, we will be unable to protect 75% of our online data – put simply: three out of four of our most precious secrets will be completely public. There is no such thing as total security. I wanted to write a book for everybody, but I couldn’t write what I wanted to, because first I had to write it for a chosen few. There’s a gap, wide as an ocean, between the ordinary reader’s knowledge and that of the specialist, when we talk about information security issues. After 25 years as a cyber security expert, I have become convinced that this gap needs a bridge, in the form of a book, but that ocean is so wide, that first it needs a book to narrow it. This is that book.

It is about the smallest and most delicate asset that anyone and everyone possesses: our secrets. And I have bad news for you: our secrets are under threat, just when we thought they were in the most secure place that they could possibly be. Something happened, and it’s irreversible, and still not fully understood. Don’t think about those small secrets that are easy to share, or lose, or bring out into the light of day. Think about your most hidden, perhaps even forgotten secrets, things that could ruin your life, or the life of your loved ones; or bring down a company’s reputation, damage its profits, or just tear the whole thing into pieces. Remember the VW emissions scandal? just insert the name of your company! Pretty scary, no?

And now for the good news. I partnered with a good friend and social-psychology expert, Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky, and took a good look at where the world is heading. Should we really share everything with each other? Can a secret-service exist any longer, where secrets will remain secrets? In the future, will we know everything about our politicians, company leaders, or the family living across the street? What is a secret anyhow? Why are they so important for us? Critical and complicated times are ahead, from the point of view of sociologists and information theorists, and we need to change the way we protect our data. In this book you’ll find some practical advice and observations, to offer some answers for the emerging challenges of the new world that is already arriving.