Why we need a #Cybersecurity “Moon Shot” Now.

Cybersecurity must be conquered. The United States must do so to preserve peace and seek knowledge, and “it will be the greatest adventure in which man, let alone the United States, has ever engaged.” Let’s conquer cybersecurity today. And not just for ourselves. But for the generations to come.

I often wonder about the legacy that we would leave our children today if all were too suddenly end. Would they be proud of our accomplishments? Would we leave a lasting effect on mankind? Or would our children view our time as a wasted decade (or two)? Meaning we have so much and so many riches. Yet we find no bother in having someone (something/some nation-state) steal them willy-nilly without attribution or consequences? I wonder.

When I was growing up, I idolized these guys, the Mercury Seven astronauts. They represented the best of the best. Our heroes. The men who would make going to the Moon and walking on the moon not only possible, but they would get it done. Period. Failure was not an option. And they did not fail.

But remember that behind the Mercury Seven were tens of thousands of NASA employees, engineers and scientists, and tens of thousands of contractors and subcontractors behind them. These were not “individuals” per se. And they knew it. There is no “I” in team. And this was a team of individuals driven by a President who “exhorted the American public to rise to the occasion, to demonstrate the best of their skills, and to reinforce American leadership as an innovative power. The American spirit, the premise of what makes us American, is our ability to boldly accept challenges and rise to conquer them.” That is what we Americans do. We rise to the occasion. And Team NASA did rise to the occasion and got it done.

Who would be our heroes today? Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Jeff Bezos? Elon Musk? Guys who have driven the transformation of our economy from brick and mortar to digital in a scant 20 years or so? Would it be a sports figure? Or an endearing political figure (if we had one). I often wonder.

What about cybersecurity? Who would be our heroes that we can say truly changed the game? Who turned the tables on cybercrime? Who stopped the gigantic $400-500 Billion “IP” hemorrhage of the American economy and its dramatic loss of wealth, technology and industrial secrets? Can you think of someone? Anyone? I can’t.

Maybe that is because, like during the period of President Kennedy and the Mercury Seven, all of us need to be cybersecurity “heroes.” We need to finally plug the holes in the “perimeter,” stick our fingers in the IP dam to stop the leaks? We all need to be accountable. We all need to complete this mission. Failure to not an option. Or there will be nothing left in 20 or 30 years when other countries challenge our pre-eminence.

Who are my cybersecurity heroes? I can think of two: Ronald Ross and Matthew Barrett from the National Institute of Standards. Great guys. Cyber patriots who care about this country greatly.

And I can think of my team, the #CyberAvengers, who fight the good fight for you and others. Every day. For free. For the love of this country.

Finally, how do we call become cyber heroes? Read the NIST Cybersecurity Framework front to back cover. Our best hope. Its the place to start your heroic charge forward. And read the Cyberavengers Playbook for 2017. Great business advice. No technical. No BS.

Cybersecurity must be conquered. The United States must do so to preserve peace and seek knowledge, and “it will be the greatest adventure in which man, let alone the United States, has ever engaged.” Let’s conquer cybersecurity today. And not just for ourselves. But for the generations to come.

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