In September 2013, ICSPA in association with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Trend Micro attempted to predict the state of technology and cybercrime in 2020. Building scenarios for governments, businesses, and individuals. Trend Micro also created a video series depicting this future society with all the possibilities and consequences afforded by technological developments.

Eight years later, we’ve analyzed and evaluated the predictions to highlight those that came to fruition and examine the reasons why others did not.

Project 2020 Predictions

The study was conducted using an academic methodology to inform our projections. This analytical approach likely contributed to the accuracy of our predictions. We correctly anticipated a large amount of the technology, security, and privacy evolutions that have since become reality. To create a holistic future society, prediction narratives were developed for individuals, businesses, and governments.

Cybersecurity Implications

The overwhelming majority of developments that we predicted are present in various capacities, including increased focus on connected and mobile devices, cryptocurrencies, crowdsourced information, and exploitation of social media for monetary gain. As with the technology changes, it can be difficult to determine the extent to which these threats are mainstream. Though in general, cybercriminals have taken advantage of technology advancements that have been widely adopted.

Missed Predictions

We often learn as much from what we get right as what we get wrong. Our future narratives were not 100% accurate—including for example, our prediction that the use of Augmented Reality (AR) would become mainstream—but we’re excited to dissect these misses to see what we can learn.

What’s Next?

We’ve learned a lot from analyzing this past work. However, 2020 has also shown us that short-term predictions can be totally derailed by unforeseen world events. Nonetheless, we’re already looking forward to putting what we’ve learned into practice for our next project – Predicting 2030.