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April 2003

Lessons of cyberwar: A chance to boost information security budgets

A lot of vendors are using the war in Iraq as a platform to trumpet the threat of cyberterror (or cyberwar, or whatever they call it). Sorry to be a party pooper, but this is a convenient excuse to convince you to buy new stuff, whether you need it or not. I won't discount the possibility of a cyberwar component to Gulf War II. But it's far more likely that the impact will be along the lines of "cybernuisance." A couple of viruses, some Web defacements, maybe a DoS or two. Nothing you can't handle or aren't already prepared for. Security is all about windows of opportunity. Our adversaries live by this rule. So should we. War has a unifying effect on people. Like everyone else, your managers have a need to "do something." The risk is that, lacking your guidance and input, they'll throw money at stuff you don't really need. Meanwhile, you'll have missed your opportunity to shore up one of the most-often overlooked areas of infosecurity: business continuity planning. Media protection, storage, backup. The CISO of a Fortune 500 ...

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