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Allow me to frame the threat of cybercrime that we all face by quoting from Jeff Debrosse’s 2009 Cybersecurity Review white paper:
The cybercriminals are faster and have shelter from litigation and arrest. We are up for the challenge, but this doesn’t fall strictly on the shoulders of the government. Those of us in the private sector can do much more to contribute.
With President Obama citing an estimated $1 trillion in global intellectual property lost annually, we’ve got to do something or every bit of Intellectual Property our innovative little elves in keebler trees can think up will be offshored and in production before the patent ink dries on the application.
Let me bring this threat of stolen IP closer to home for most of us. It’s not just about knockoff handbags or $5 pirated copies of Windows OS, it’s about manufactured items like counterfeit safety parts infiltrating parts pipelines. The bottom line is that where there’s no oversight in manufacturing to keep people from saving a buck or three by using a weaker than specified alloy or failure rated part, there’s no guarantee you will get the quality required to save your life.
Like the airbags in your car. Or the brakes on the commercial jet you’re flying in.
In keeping with that, Congress is offering one potential solution:
In particular this part appeals to me. Having spent the past year and some months working with the Securing Our eCity educational campaign, cybersecurity awareness is near and dear to my heart. David Harley was kind enough to donate his expertise in creating a simple to understand password security handout. Everyone we contacted was 150% dedicated in sharing their knowledge – any industry knowledge – in getting the message out to the masses that first, there is cybercrime and second, you don’t have to be connected to the internet to become a victim.
We are seeing the measurable results here in San Diego, although it will take years to become fully effective. There are Disney cartoons which right now show cyber safety tips between shows. There are legislators who are hearing from their constituents about the issues. More and more community groups are getting up to date on the threats we all face in the 21st century.
Frankly, I welcome debate about the particulars. The devil’s in the details and in order to be heard, one first has to be clear, concise, and coherent. The more discussion these bills have, the better a chance they have of actually accomplishing something aside from killing trees for the paper they’re printed on.
Securing Our eCity Contributing Writer
Author ESET Research, ESET