Research Roundup: Rootin’ Through the Data

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mike Meikle

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One of the biggest problems we face is information overload.  Our inboxes look like the warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Twitter releases a fire hose of information in our faces and then we have a stack of print publications teetering in the corner.

Seth Godin recently blogged about this very problem in a post titled “In and Out”.  Basically, you need to determine how much information you are going to take “in” before you actually produce something or “out”.

Well, I’m here to help with some of the clutter; at least on the cyber security front today.  A herd of security related reports were released this week and I’m going to provide an overview of each and link them all together over the next several posts.

Let’s start in the VIP box with the Davos World Economic Forum Global Risks Report for 2011.  I’m assuming no one with bad hair or geek credentials (Bill Gates doesn’t count) was within 150 miles of Davos confab, but the report does provide a 60,000 foot “Executive Summary” of the cyber security situation.

Flipping through pages 61 to 63, the report breaks down the cyber security threat into four categories, Cyber Theft, Cyber War, Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Espionage.  One could argue semantics with the authors of this report and that the some of their categories could be merged with another.  However this would be putting a technical edge on a decidedly non-industry source. The security industry should be amazed they are mentioned at all.

To put some real world wrappers around these lofty categories; the Zeus Trojan would fall under Cyber Theft, Stuxnet would fit under Cyber War, WikiLeaks would align with Cyber Espionage and the Anonymous Denial of Service Attacks on Wikileaks detractors would be Cyber Terrorism.

While the report is very short on detail it is good to see cyber security starting to appear on the radar of global movers and shakers.  WikiLeaks probably has more to do with that than anything else.  It seems that only when the elite in any organization are negatively affected by an event, does real attention get paid to outstanding issues.

My next post will cover the will cover Kapersky’s ThreatPost Security Spotlight Report for 2011.  Wikileaks,  IPv4, Stuxnet (SCADA) and Malware are the on the front burner for the new year.  Which sounds an awful lot like last year…

Cross-posted from Musings of a Corporate Consigliere

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