Those of us of a certain age remember the megaglitch known as Y2K. As you may recall, the date field in older software and systems was limited to a two-digit designation for the year, so when Jan. 1, 2000, rolled around, a ton of systems and programs would read “01-01-00” as “01-01-1900.”
When the scope of the problem became apparent, it set off a panic — and not only in IT. It was a big deal. Multiple disaster movies showed the world falling apart, complete with crashing airliners, crumbling skyscrapers, and busted dams.
Y2K came and went with a whimper. Though the damage was minimal, it could have been much worse. The entire industry pulled together to tackle a single problem, to the point where planning and remediation stomped out the biggest bugs. Y2K stands as one of the few “khumbaya” moments when we all came together instead of reacting like sheep after the damage was done (which describes most of what we do in the computer security world today).