Is Cyber warfare symptomatic of greater social ills? (a not entirely serious post)

I’ve spent the week at IA11 , and since if I blogged from there my friends at CESG would do terrible things to my mobile phone, I wisely avoided doing so. However, I attended the presentations, did the dinner and enjoyed meeting colleagues from across industry.

During one conversation, I did get some feedback from industry legend and Leicestershire County Knitting Champion 2006, Paul Briault from RSA, who said that my blogs have got a bit serious of late, and he preferred them slightly more light hearted. Given the way the world is right now, that’s hardly surprising, but I did come up with one thought at the end of the drinks reception I wanted to run past you. The thought ran thus….

One of the emerging topics of the last 12 months on which a fair chunk of IA11’s time was spent was the topic of Cyber warfare. And I thought to myself, why has this arisen as a topic? What factors are there that have led this situation to arise? Yes computing power, internet, economic efficiencies blah blah blah. But could there be something else? A missing, underlying cause?

And then it hit me. It’s simple. It’s the Decline of Western Civilisation that’s driving this. Stay with me here. In the old days, when we fell out with someone, we put some khaki on, got in our tanks and gave the opposition a taste of British* military what for. Young, strapping types with laudable facial hair went into action until it got sorted, and we then moved on.

The problem is that, as a society, we’ve turned into a bunch of lardy Facebook-obsessed Trisha-watching layabouts, and the thought of getting up before midday and giving Johnny Foreigner a good thrashing probably qualifies as a reason to get counselling. Cyber warfare offers us the ability to ‘get stuck in’ whilst never actually putting on more than the dressing gown we pinched from The Marriot whilst pretending to be at a Conference. We can power up the machine, fire off a few bad things, all the while still checking Facebook and Bit Torrenting the latest Adele CD.

So there you have it. Cyber Warfare is not about nefarious, shadowy gangs of cyber criminals or state sponsored threat actors. It’s about the fact that we’ve turned into a bunch of lazy work shy fatties who can’t even be bothered to get dressed to have a pop at the enemy. Sadly there was no workstream at IA11 on this, but I look forward to seeing it at IA12.

And yes, I know I sound like my Dad, but the older I get, the more he is making sense. And as ever, nothing but the greatest respect to the actual strapping young things who actually do wear Khaki. Here’s a link for Help for Heroes. You know what to do….

*or whatever country you happen to be from

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About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
This entry was posted in Cyber, Government ICT strategy, Govt ICT Strategy, Information Security, InfoSec, Security, Sophos. Bookmark the permalink.

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