The Three Lenses of a Cyber Economist by Sheldon Shaw

The cyber economist views the IT security landscape through three lenses; societal, intellectual and technical. At once these collide and force a change both in design and in function. Throughout the last 20 years IT security revolved around increasing cyber budgets and an increase in debilitating attacks. Through a series of articles I will use these three lenses to explore some emerging issues. Below is a landscape view of some of those issues.

In taking the role of the cyber economist our first lens offers the following insights;

  • Society has tolerated an invasion of privacy, in fact, much of society willfully publishes private and sensitive data every second of every day

  • Media coverage of IT security revolves around post breach commentary often involving luminaries that are involved in post breach clean up.

  • Much of the drive around higher education is in pursuit of STEM and equality in STEM. Laudable, but lacking in focus of the underlying causes of insecurity. More programmers don’t solve the problem of weak coding practices

Through the intellectual lens we find;

  • Significant concern in intellectual circles surrounds robotic and artificial intelligence.

  • Limited intellectual debate around security and embedding security in every process

  • Very few interdisciplinary programs that focus on the intellectual / philosophical underpinnings of IT and Security (see STEM above)

  • The discussion around Human Computer Interaction is woefully underfunded and under supported.

Within the technical lens;

  • Marketing literature often posits solutions to problems that do not exist

  • Language and terminology equating a solution to next generation or best of breed damages customer relationships through false expectations

  • Analytics – specifically embedded analytics or micro analytical efforts are emerging positive areas of influence

  • Blockchain not only redefines security but offers a new paradigm of security through translucence

As the lenses come closer together I believe the solutions and opportunities have more relevance. With enough support from the intellectual lens the technical innovations gain traction and thorough adoption in society. More programmers will not increase security until the intellectual lens is applied so that new era of programmers view secure code as the only type of code. The impact of blockchain both in a societal change and the intellectual rigor applied to it will result in a wave of changes for society from finance to IT security.


profileSheldon Shaw is a cyber analytics specialist with SAS. Having spent the last 20 years working with Data, Information and Intelligence Mr. Shaw brings a variety of experiences and interests to the Analyitcs field. Mr. Shaw spent 15 years working in the National Security community and now engages clients in a myriad of conversations from big data analytics to cyber to the security of things (SoT).

Twitter: @cyber_analytics

LinkedIn: Sheldon Shaw

Source: LinkiedIn Pulse


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