I spent the weekend pulling up hops. When I first saw them, I was delighted. My neighbors who brew beer were excited. Volunteers! It was only as they showed their flowers did I discover they were Japanese hops -- an invader who doesn't produce anything worthwhile.
It made me think about how much we can learn from nature about identity and methods used to confuse.
Mimicry: Look like something else that's useful or poisonous to stay alive longer. Do you sometimes mistype a URL and get to a site which looks awfully like your destination but is not? Have you in your haste typed your username and password anyway? Now a potentially malicious third party has your information.
Camouflage and parasites: Look like the background to hide or hitchhike along with something desirable. The high tech equivalents are Internet worms and malware. They don't show themselves and can cause damage without you even being aware that they are present. They can also be dormant for a while so you don't even know you're infected.
New for 2013: the mobile front. "Tap and pay" application growth is a new vector for a thief to steal your digital wallet -- the new "bump and steal." Like mosquitoes? Again you don't know you have a problem until it's too late.
It's important to understand how you might be attacked in order to have effective defense techniques to protect your resources -- whether in nature or on your Internet-connected device.