The Principles of a Safe Secure & Intelligent (S2I) Communications System

And that’s it. That is the entire basis for developing these principles, the rules of the road, these guiding lights, so that we can protect these systems we so dearly rely on.

What is a principle? The “know all” (aka, Google) tells us a principle is: “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”

What is a communication system? The other “know all” (aka, Wikipedia) tells us a communication system is: “In telecommunication, a communications system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole.” Continue reading “The Principles of a Safe Secure & Intelligent (S2I) Communications System”

What Can We Learn From the World Economic Forum’s Cyber Resilience Playbook

While it may be tempting to dismiss this document as a directive aimed solely at politicians and policymakers, the playbook lays out very real risks that organizations around the world must face when dealing with their own cyber resilience capabilities.

When the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its “Global Risks Report 2018,” in January, it also issued a new report titled “Cyber Resilience: Playbook for Public-Private Collaboration,” which aims to improve the way governments and policymakers around the world make decisions about cybersecurity. Since, as the report noted, the first line of defense is rarely the government, this framework is designed to promote collaboration both within our own borders and across the globe.

To create the framework, the WEF, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, asked its experts to create an initial list of values that policymakers would need to weigh when choosing between various cyber policies. The 30 options were eventually distilled down to five key values that are central to any choice regarding cybersecurity policy: security, privacy, economic value, fairness and accountability. The remaining 25 options can be mapped to one of these five key values. Continue reading at SecurityIntelligence.com

The Freedom to Communicate

The Internet has allowed speech to move freely. It is the railroad system of the 1800s and nobody should ever be denied entry onto a rail car for discriminatory reasons, especially when those reasons can serve as proxy to deny somebody their constitutional rights. And because the Internet rests on the use of radio spectrum, a federally-regulated property, nothing should prohibit the free exercise or abridging of the freedom to communicate.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

– The First Amendment of the United States Constitution

Think back to a time where there was no social media, no mass media, and no printing press. How was a message passed? Two ways: through oral conversation or the laborious task of duplicating messages by hand.

These two conditions meant that your message didn’t really go far, but then again, neither did you. Most of your business was decided in your community and you had little fear of far off places impacting your life.

Fast forward to today. The technological leaps we have made allow us to replicate the message faster, spread the message faster, and reach a wider audience. I hit “publish” and this article is theoretically accessible to over 3 billion people by the first degree.

Generally speaking, these advances have worked out well for us. Think free societies, scientific innovation, friendships and bonds. Continue reading “The Freedom to Communicate”

Highlights From the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks Report 2018’

This year, cyberthreats figure prominently along the various global risks found in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. It makes it a perfect New Year’s gift for chief information security officers (CISOs) to share with their business leaders as a way to examine common concerns and build trust through stronger communication and engagement on a topic that is critical to the survival of organizations around the world.

First came the New Year’s Eve parties, followed by New Year’s resolutions and, finally, the annual meeting of global elites at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on January 23–26. Just ahead of the event, the WEF released its “Global Risks Report 2018,” a compendium of data points and analysis about the state of economic health around the world.

The report, partly based on a survey of about 1,000 of its members conducted during the second half of 2017, covers all major categories of risk, including economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological. The top four concerns include recurring themes, such as inequality and unfairness, political tensions within and between countries, the environment, and cyber vulnerabilities. It is across this spectrum of global risks that the report warns of “the increased dangers of systemic breakdown,” due in part to our increasing dependence on technology. Continue reading at SecurityIntelligence.com

Helpful FTC Guidance on Cybersecurity for Small and Midsize Companies

It is important for all companies — especially small and midsize companies — to have a basic understanding of what the FTC considers to be reasonable cybersecurity. The FTC is known for being one of the more aggressive regulators that are investigating and enforcing (what it views as) inadequate cybersecurity by companies doing business in the United States.

In the watershed case solidifying the FTC’s authority to regulate companies’ cybersecurity under the FTC Act, F.T.C. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp.,  the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals looked to resources published on the FTC’s website and found that Wyndham’s cybersecurity was very rudimentary and contravened recommendations in the FTC’s 2007 guidebook, Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Businesses.

The FTC recently published a couple of helpful resources on its website and companies of all sizes would be well-served to spend some time reviewing the recommendations in these resources:

Is Your CISO a Jedi Warrior, an Admiral or a Diplomat?

The CISO as a security leader must be multitalented, one minute conversing with the top leadership about strategies and alliances — much like the Admiral and the Ambassador would do — and the next minute directing the alliance’s response to new threats with the precision of a Pilot. And all the while, they must be using their knowledge of the organization’s defenses and that of enemy weapons, the threats and tools at the disposal of attackers today, to ensure a healthy balance.

As fans of “Star Wars,” we’ve watched a multitude of characters evolve on the screen and rise to the challenge posed by dark and powerful enemy forces. Jedi warriors, Wookiee warriors, fighter pilots, and an array of diplomats and military commanders have fascinated us for four decades.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, in this decade, we too are left fighting dark and powerful enemy forces. It’s only natural to wonder which of these types of characters would best serve as chief information security officers (CISOs) for our organizations to defend us from the threats of a digital empire that continues its relentless expansion and threatens our organization’s very survival.

Let’s take a look at some traits from the “Star Wars” characters we’ve grown to love and explore how those might be applicable to CISOs today.  Continue reading at SecurityIntelligence.com

Calculating the Costs of a Cyber Breach: Becoming the “Antifragile” Cyber Organization

What is worrying us is the intangible like human interaction with and dependence on machines, human decision-making…In this space, we actually feel we are doing the opposite of getting better; instead, we are getting worse. We are becoming even more fragile.

The 2017 Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Study found that the cost of a data breach is going down, but the size of a data breach is going up.” Additional key findings included the following:

  • The average total cost of a data breach decreased from $4.00 to $3.62 million.
  • The average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also decreased from $158 in 2016 to $141. (The strong USD played a role in reducing the costs.)
  • The average size of the data breaches investigated in the research increased 1.8 percent.

Okay, so what does all that mean? Good news? Bad news? Mixed news?

Continue reading “Calculating the Costs of a Cyber Breach: Becoming the “Antifragile” Cyber Organization”

Local LinkedIn pick as cybersecurity guru talks trends

I think government is traditionally been way behind on procurement issues and recently, enactment of legislation for modernization has taken place. They’re trying to replace a lot of legacy systems.

Our guest today was recently named by LinkedIn as one of the top five people to follow in cybersecurity issues among their 500 million members. He was also just selected as LinkedIn to be an advisor on cybersecurity and emerging technology issues, and we’re lucky enough to have him here in the studio– Chuck Brooks of Chuck Brooks Consulting. Chuck, thanks for joining us. Continue reading “Local LinkedIn pick as cybersecurity guru talks trends”

Four Key Lessons From NACD’s ‘2018 Governance Outlook’ About Managing Cyber Risks

“Being ‘secure’ is not a static end state that lends itself to inflexible compliance checklists; it requires a constant evaluation of risk relative to a rapidly evolving cyberthreat landscape.”

In mid-December 2017, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) published its “2018 Governance Outlook: Projections on Emerging Board Matters” report, designed to highlight key areas of focus for board directors in 2018. It also offered recommendations for improving enterprise risks, including a section dedicated to cyber risks.

Four Key Takeaways From the NACD ‘s ‘2018 Governance Outlook’

The report — and the underlying NACD Public Company Governance Survey — found that only 49 percent of board directors are confident about management’s ability to effectively handle cyber risks. In the same vein, since there are increasing calls for cyber risks to be integrated within the enterprise risk management (ERM) system, 58 percent said it was important or very important for their boards to improve oversight of risk management in the coming year. Continue reading at SecurityIntelligence.com

Treat Your Data Like Cash

Information is just another form of currency (arguably, the most valuable), which is why if you believe in the old saying “cash is king” then we should really start thinking “data is king” also.

How annoyed are you when you find out you lost some cash?  Whether it is a few bucks in your jeans pocket or that “emergency stash” under the mattress, losing that “cold hard cash” is a feeling that always twists your stomach.  Sometimes you blame yourself.  Sometimes you blame others.  Depending on the amount lost, your emotions could range from the standard “how could I be so stupid?” to a profanity-laced tirade that is not suitable for print here.

Question: do you feel the same way when you experience credit card fraud?  My instinct is that while you would feel some sort of violation and negative feelings, it’s just not “the same” as losing cash. Continue reading “Treat Your Data Like Cash”