Monday, August 14, 2017

It´s not a kid in the basement

Weekly interview

"We have to start seeing criminals as organizations that work as a business" The quote is taken from Michael Daniel, Barak Obama´s former cyber advisor in an interview published in the technological blog of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dated the 31th of July, this Monday we liked to echoing his words instead of looking one year back as we use to do at the start of the week. After all, Daniel presides an organization with very ambitious goals: The Cyber Threats Alliance (CTA).

The interview took place during the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas and the speech is about in the role played by governments collaborating with private companies and how to face the menaces, regardless of whether they come from private agents or are sponsored by a state. "It´s not a kid in a basement" doing blunders, Daniel advices. "They are organizations that act like business, and we have to start thinking about them in terms or how to interrupt their business models". An approach that is valid even for political and "diplomatic" operations.

"Most of the nation states are willing to invest time and money in a way no criminal organization could or would like to do", accepts the former US administration advisor. Thus the impact we can expect is also different to the impact coming from an independent criminal organization.  But still, if the steps in the right direction are taken there are ways to "impose costs and slow down" the attacks and their authors.

Which one is this direction? Daniel explains it when detailing the Alliance mission: "In a wider level, CTA is an organization for information exchange an its analysis, centered in the seller and the cybersecurity providers community". It is a unique craft, he assures, in the way that anybody else is doing it.  

The primary objective of this Alliance is assuring that this industry competition is more beneficial for every one, instead of being comparing the size or many "inadequate data pools"; by doing this way it would be possible to place the competitors in their rightful place, doing better things with this data. In this way the integration with companies and business models would be more productive. The second objective of the Alliance is to combine the resulting information to "trace more effective ways of interrupting the bad guys, and doing it over all their business process".

In Daniel´s opinion, we have to overcome the error of seeing security as a matter of frontiers security. And he offers the example of the management of natural disasters: they start being something faced in the local level and it keeps being scaled to increasingly more global administrations when the challenge to be taken up so requires. "What is the cybernetic equivalent of this?" asks CTA´s president. "We still have not the political language to talk about what this relationship is", he concludes.

We are making changes in, changes that would be a while before they would come finished, but that may result in more contents and more varied ones with a more selective focus. As a prelude to this changes we are willing to bring to this space the most authorized voices of our sector. Like we do every Wednesday on our research of the week review, considering that we should keep our fingers on the pulse of the experts that, in one way or another, are references for our sector.

Image: freeimages


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