Is Cyber deterrence missing from the picture? Is it attainable?


BlackBerry faithful are familiar with the hallmark of the BlackBerry platform – Cybersecurity, but odds are you may not be so familiar with Ben Whishaw. This picture is from a scene of the James Bond film Skyfall. Why is it relevant? In this scene Q (Ben Whishaw) informs Bond that he is a dinosaur and that Q can do more damage before breakfast in his pajamas with his laptop (over a cuppa Earl Grey) than Bond can do in a year. Given all the mayhem that has gone on over the past few decades there can be little doubt that this is true. But the real question is can we prevent it? Is Cyber deterrence attainable?

For quite some time hackers have attempted to gain access to sensitive information and that continues to this day. The difference is the hacker is no longer some individual trying to do some mayhem or get rich, but groups of people performing a DDoS, mining for cryptocurrency, or a military unit gaining access to an adversary’s plans or destroying their systems. Hacking has now evolved into an arena where Nation-States hire and train very bright individuals to perform nefarious acts behind the scenes. leaving no breadcrumbs.

Late last week the Washington Times published a short piece concerning Cyber Deterrence that caught my attention. In it they posit that before hackers attempt to perform their deed they weigh-out the pros and cons, conducting a risk/benefit analysis if you will. So the theory goes, if there are strong systems in place and the penalty for being caught is steep enough then your ‘cyber deterrence’ will be successful in maintaining the status quo. The main issue to be addressed is how do you go about penalizing the hackers in such a harsh manner that they would never attempt a hack? Also, if you had such a plan in place how would you get the word out? Might it embolden some bad-actors? It will be interesting to see how this concept evolves and where is takes us.

Until the time Cyber Deterrence is a reality-




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