Headline, May08, 2014

''' CYBER-TSAR​S '''

SOME TWO years ago - a wave of senior departures from the DHS got to attract politicians attention.

 At a meeting of a House of Representatives subcommittee that focuses on cyber-security issues, Yvette Clarke, one of the members, expressed deep concern:

''About the continuing drain of Cyber-Security leadership''  at the department, noting that it ''has gotten particularly  bad  in the last six months.''

One of those who has left is Mark Weatherford, who quit as deputy under-secretary for cyber-security at the DHS to join  Chertoff Group, a consultancy. He has also joined the advisory boards of:

Coalfire, a firm that helps companies identify  technology-related risks and deal with compliance issues, and Cylance, a cyber-security outfit.

The role of firms such as Booz Allen in the intelligence arena and the flow of government  cyber-tsars into tech companies are evidence of an emerging cyber industrial complex in which the private and public sectors are Intimately linked.

Some will see this as a worrying development, noting that President Dwight Eisenhower used the term  ''military-industrial complex'' in a speech in 1961 to give warning about the dangers of too cosy a relationship between government, military men and defence contractors.

There are risks inherent in the cyber-industrial complex too. Mr Snowden's leaks will raise questions about just how water-tight firms such as Booz Allen can keep their operations. There is also a theoretical risk that former officials might tap their chums in government:

To give their new employers an unfair advantage in bidding for federal contracts or to influence policy for commercial advantage.

But there are also reasons why the cyber-industrial complex should, on balance, be welcomed. For a start, many talented but quirky techies would refuse to work for government agencies, which are unlikely to be hoodie-friendly.

Better to have them work as contractors than not to enlist their talents at all. Deep-pocketed firms may also be best placed to attract more birds such as Data Scientists. 

Lattice Engines, a software company looking into firing trends in the data field, reckons Booz Allen has over 300 vacancies for such people and may well be recruiting more of them than Google or Facebook.

Because of the danger that online security threats pose, companied need to co-operate closely with government spooks and crimebusters, to counter them. Former cyber-officials can advise firms how best to do this.

Moreover, if the government wants to continue to benefit from the savvy of its departing cyber-warriors, it can always hire their new firms. 

Government types can also help cyber security firms and consulatancies, which are prime target for hackers, to protect their own operations better.

Dmitri Alperovitch, a founder of CrowdStrike, a cyber security company that hired Shawn Henry after he retired from a senior position at the FBI, says that in addition to working with clients Mr Henry is also responsible for CrowDStrike's own internal security. 

That still leaves the issue of persuading enough talented cyber-warriors to remain in government. Ironically Mr Metzger, the headhunter, thinks  that NSA furore will mean even more work for him.

Some boards have been slow to wake-up to the gravity of cyber-risks, he says. But now that executives realise their own calls and e-mails are being monitored, they are more likely to take the threats seriously. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the 
Free World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Superstudent Vs Spider-Student ''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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