Tuesday, 3 April 2012

FBI’s Top Cyber Cop Says ‘We’re not winning’

Comforting news:
Shawn Henry
Shawn Henry says we're up a creek without a paddle.
In an interview appearing in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, the FBI’s assistant executive director, Shawn Henry, said the efforts currently used by the federal government and private companies to combat hacking are “unsustainable”.
"I don't see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it's an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,'' said Mr. Henry

Mr. Henry, who is leaving government to take a cybersecurity job with an undisclosed firm in Washington, said companies need to make major changes in the way they use computer networks to avoid further damage to national security and the economy. Too many companies, from major multinationals to small start-ups, fail to recognize the financial and legal risks they are taking—or the costs they may have already suffered unknowingly—by operating vulnerable networks, he said. [WSJ]
Henry described users, including governments, businesses and individuals, as using a defensive strategy that only responds to and fails to anticipate a constantly evolving offense.
But, now that we know we know the problems, we can address them and things will get easier, right?
Not so much.
The expanding range of wireless networks and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous cloud storage servers are only leaving users more vulnerable. Remember, companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google (who is anticipated to soon launch the cloud storage service GDrive), store not only their own information in cyberspace, but your sensitive data as well.
Or as Henry puts it on the FBI’s website:
What I call the expansion of the network is going to create challenges. As technology increases, the threat becomes greater. All our wireless networks and smart devices are network-based, and anything touching the network is potentially susceptible. As more and more information transitions across the network, more adversaries will move to get their hands on it, because that information is extraordinarily valuable. [FBI]

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