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Global Innovation Outlook concepts

Security & Society

security watchman

Society owes its very existence to the basic human need for collective security. In this way, security and society are synonymous. Without one, the other ceases to be.

But the relationship between security and society has grown increasingly complex and dynamic over the last two decades. Never before has the balance between the two been more in flux, as globalization, interdependence, and digital technologies have literally reshaped the foundations of society, challenging every accepted approach to its security.

Today, we are a truly global society, traveling freely and conducting business without borders over a communications network that connects virtually every person on the planet. The speed with which this change has taken hold has created unprecedented opportunity, both legitimate and otherwise. As business models and lifestyles have migrated from the physical world to the digital world, so too have criminal elements and other destabilizing forces.

It's all part of the inevitable security power struggle, and the

reason why truly complete security is not an attainable goal. Perhaps this is why many believe that security strategies should focus more on resiliency, or the ability to absorb and respond to attacks, rather than hardening perimeters and securing boundaries. Or that society needs to take a more distributed approach to security, empowering and enabling each of the world's security stakeholders to take more responsibility for the collective impact.

In the GIO Security & Society report, the accompanying videos, and the GIO blog entries on Security & Society, you will find a more detailed description of the concept of distributed security, as well as further insights culled from a series of six brainstorming sessions, or "deep dives," that IBM convened around the world in 2008. These meetings brought together business leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, academics and nonprofits to ask the hard questions about the future of security.

The end result of this effort is not, of course, a solution to the world's security problems. It is instead a collection of innovative security strategies for a globally connected world, strategies in which every government, business and citizen has a role to play.

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