Monday, April 6, 2015

(Cyber) comparisons are odious

"Sunt bona sunt quaedam, bad sunt pure". In the epigrams of Martial, we find this quote that means "some people are good, some others stand in the middle and most of them are bad." Comparisons are always odious, but sometimes we have no choice but to compare. And sometimes even the comparisons make us to look away, because the differences between them are overwhelming.

It´s the case of cyber defense expenditure of the United States and the rest of the western countries. The US cyber defense budget is 5,100 million dollars in 2015, and is estimated to reach 14,000 million dollars in 2018, an increase of almost 300%. If we compare the figures with other countries, we find 219 million pounds two years ago, and an expected increase of only a 3.4% until 2017 in cyber defense, and a 5.7% in cybersecurity. In Spain, global expense in cybersecurity (both public and private) last 2014, is estimated at 150 million euros approximately , nothing compared to a global investment of over 72,000 million. These are figures we find in the recently published report from "INFOSEC market: analysis and characterization by INCIBE".

So there is no much place for doubt about the importance that Obama administration gives to this section. Maybe that was why, that US manufactures day in, day out, headlines about it, regardless if the particular case is yet another revelation of espionage, or the umteenth startup getting a round of funding hard to get -not to say impossible- in Europe. These are the facts: These days, the American president has ordered the creation of a program that will allow his government to sanction foreign cybercriminals, because it is "one of the most serious threats to the economy and national security"; Meanwhile, US lawmakers from the Congress are rushing into create new laws about cybersecurity, all while trying to convince industry that surveillance programs have nothing to do with their "cyber efforts" to push administration and companies to share their data. Seems that these legislators have some arduous task.

And we say that comparisons are odious. But across the pond, it seems that the objectives are light years away. Thanks to Segu Info  blog  (Argentinian, I must say), we learned that English espionage would be taking advantage vulnerabilities in national  Argentina's INFOSEC to maintain their positions over the Falkland Islands, administered by Britain since 1833. The information comes from a new Edward Snowden's filtration to Todo Noticias, in association with The Intercept.

Anyways, maybe Marcial was right in that "some are good, some are medium and most are bad". We should start wondering, besides, which ones are really effective. Have a nice week after the "break" of Holy Week ;-)

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