You Can’t Be Serious

How are people supposed to take cyber security seriously when stuff like this goes on?

After Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, Napolitano said people should look than no further than the damage caused by the massive storm to understand the need to boost the nation’s cybersecurity protections.

“One of the possible areas of attack, of course, is attacks on our nation’s control systems — the control systems the operate our utilities, our water plants, our pipelines, our financial institutions,” Napolitano said. “If you think that a critical systems attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities.”

“The urgency and the immediacy of the cyber problem; the cyberattacks that we are undergoing and continuing to undergo can not be overestimated,” she said.

(H/T to Sean Lawson at CTOVision)

I asked this question yesterday: If you’re talking about cyber threat and the after-effects you portray are similar to what the upper east coast looks like post-Sandy, do you think people considering the issue of cyber threat will take you more or less seriously?

This is the disconnect so many cyber security “experts” and talking heads make: you can’t scare people with hypotheticals you’re not even sure can happen when there are actuals that are impacting people right now. A cyber attack could cause the power to go out? Stop the trains from running? Cripple air traffic? Contaminate water supplies? Make it hard to get food? Deny or degrade access to the Internet? In other words “stuff that happens due to weather every year?” Yeah, OK, let me go get my cyber rain coat and iGo Bag.

Since experts like to shoehorn cyber security issues into nuclear security constructs let me point out that Herman Kahn didn’t develop his theories while envisioning a world that didn’t exist: he had enemy nukes hanging over his head at that very moment. You’ll note that there is no leading, popular theory dealing with cyber threats that addresses the world we’re in; only those that depend on us reshaping the world into a fantasy land where everyone is a rational actor and overflowing with selflessness.

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