There have been many recent articles about point solutions to the cyber threat – buy this tool, and you’ll be safe, or contract this service and you’ll be immune. It is critical that leadership understand that the problem is far larger than it is perceived, and will take many years to become manageable.
Federal, state governments struggling with cybersecurity expertise
Our entire IT industry is only sixty years old, give or take a few years. Early computers were behemoths used for artillery calculations and payroll. Early networks like the airline reservation system brought amazing global capabilities into focus. We’ve gone from zero to billions of computerized devices in those sixty years, and through generations that many of us will recognize; mainframe, mini, personal, client server, and eventually the world wide web/internet enabled world. Cell phones and tablets multiplied dramatically, and the Internet of Things promises to add billions of additional connected devices.
The cyber threat operates on the principal of the “100th Window,” the title of a visionary book in 2000 that summed up security in an easy-to-understand metaphor; leave one window in the castle open, and you’re vulnerable to being breached.
The cyber problem is enormous, and it will take a generation of smart talented people around the world designing and implementing solutions to the existing installed base, and designing security into subsequent generations of technology. Throughout this process, we are going to hear about cyber attacks that have spectacular impacts on organizations and their constituents; and many more will go undisclosed.