In his 1945 visionary article „As We May Think„, Vannevar Bush described the information overload happening in the scientific world at that time:
„There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers—conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear.“
And today? Now that we are deep in the Information Age and some of Vannevar´s visions came true, it becomes more and more apparent that the ever-growing mountain of information is hard to control, hard to manage, and hard to siphon thru. This is not a question of data management, as storage has become cheaper and more reliable. The Big Data concept is proof for that, as we can store a huge amount of data in its original format and query it in an acceptable time frame using commodity devices.
In 1945, Vannevar´s article described revolutionary concepts, even hintend the personal computer („Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library.„). These electronic devices for individual use exist nowadays in multiple forms, from my personal ebook reader, my smartphone to my laptop. All of them capable of storing and processing way more information than I can digest and store in brain memory, all of them connected to the Internet. And with that having access to an even greater knowledge base of information.
There are many good sources on the Internet for security-related information. Hundreds (thousands?) of security-themed websites, security news channels, security blogs, security social media groups. They all support me with a never-ending flow of information, that sometimes is relevant to my line of work, sometimes not. The point is, I am not able to digest even a fraction of the information that lands at my virtual doorstep every day. With all the technology, super-fast processing capabilities, huge memory capacities, where is the device or service that filters thru the mountain of information and prepares the snack-sized bits of security information when and where I need it?
At the end of 2020 I am the investigator Vannevar wrote about, staggering thru too much information, looking for the golden nuggets that give me insight into a new threat, let me analyse a risk better, or let me learn about new and effective security measures.