By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

The Lectern: Cyber-security -- protection vs. resilience

I had dinner recently with Dan Mintz, the Department of Transportation's delightfully smart and contrarian chief information officer, and asked him about what his priorities were going to be for the waning months of the administration. Security, he said. Sort of a conventional response. But Dan's not a conventional guy, and he proceeded to develop his frankly unconventional views on cyber-security priorities.

We need to avoid putting too large a percentage of our cyber-security resources into firewalls and other forms of protection against people breaching the fortress and getting access to the system, in Mintz's view. No matter how hard we try, we will not be completely successful, and the concentration on defending the fortress acts psychologically to create a Maginot Line mentality where we don't think enough about what we should be doing behind these firewalls.

He argues that we should be putting a greater proportion of resources into what he called "resilience," increasing our ability to survive successful breaches; What does he include under this rubric? Partly, getting better at detecting breeches, to give us more time and ability to react. Partly, getting data kept in more dispersed locations, so crucial parts of our systems are more backed up. And partly, architecting our systems to be more resilient to attack, which broadly speaking involves getting them more Internet-based architecturally, so they become more decentralized and thus harder to bring down.

Posted by Steve Kelman on May 21, 2008 at 12:10 PM


Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.