Missing the Cyber Security Boat


By James Collins

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 2.52.56 PMI recently watched a Bloomberg TV show that was a presentation by SIMFA (Security Industry and Financial Markets Association [also known as “Every Large Corporation You’ve Learned to Hate”]), which focused on their proposal to create a cyber war council to help thwart system-wide threats to the financial system.

“Yikes,” I thought to myself, “here I am dealing with a sixteenth-century-like document titled, ‘How are you Preventing Janitors from Stealing Blank Copy Paper?’ for my regulators, when I should be focused on bigger issues.”

I hate to admit that I can agree with a bunch of large banks, but this time they hit the nail on the head. While regulators are pouring over our individual prevention and mitigation strategies, we are at the mercy of much larger organizations. And they’ve had their own share of problems. For example:

  • Federal Reserve: Hacked by a British national, Lauri Love, from October 2012 through February 2013.
  • Electrical Grid: Attempts at infiltrating the electrical grid were successful via the Dragonfly incident (February, 2013) and with Smartreaders (which many homes have) in 2012 by a Netherlands teenager.
  • International Monetary Fund: 2012, via a “spear fishing” incident.
  • RSA: Even one of the premier suppliers of security, RSA, was hacked in 2011
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