From SecureID to SecureEGO: Separating Perception from Reality During a time of Cyber Civil Unrest

Uncategorized Posted Jun 13, 2011 by Kevin Kosh

Data breaches have become a way of life, and a cost of business, but it seems that the past few weeks have reached a fever pitch.  Like the delicate time after a major storm evacuation, it’s like there has been widespread and indiscriminate looting while the authorities scramble to re-establish control – if they even had it in the first place.

A couple of our clients have been in the eye of the storm, helping to try and make sense of the melee.   From NPR, to BusinessWeek, to  SC Magazine, Invincea, NetWitness and NitroSecurity have been talking about everything from Lockheed Martin, to Sony, to Citibank.

The verdict is, as a nation we’re behind the 8-Ball.  And whether it’s organized crime, cyber vigilantes, or foreign governments, our national competitiveness and safety is being stolen out from under us and the status quo is being caught standing still.

This situation was only made only clearer on Friday when a Sony senior executive called the “hack” (although by some counts there have been 19 Sony hacks) a “wake up call.”    Having done security PR for more than a decade now, it’s more evidence of a chronic snooze button addiction.

But enough of my assessment, you can read it from the experts.

  • Anup Ghosh of Invincea in Reuters explains that one of the challenges is attack attribution due to anonymity of the Internet

Most interestingly, while this sounds like high tech, sophisticated cloak and dagger and that all hope is lost, some of the most pressing problems may be the one’s right in front of our very noses.

Here, on CNN’s Situation Room, Anup explains that while many pontificate about scary concepts like CyberWar and military reciprocity and it may seem like the sky is falling, in fact it’s less about Chicken little and more about Bird Flu.  Don’t look to the sky, look to the flock.  We as employees and citizens are the first target, and in many ways, the most important line of defense.

And carrying the theme of perception vs. reality full circle, while it may seem that the industry is like Kevin Bacon in full dress uniform calling for calm, the truth may be that those we ask to keep us safe are speaking differently behind closed doors.