I read this report that was released last week on my flight back from San Diego last week. My family has learned that when they hear me moaning in pain and my face gives a "get the hell away" they do just that. This report gave me that mood. To start, I have had the utmost respect for the Center for Strategic International Studies over the years for their core work on issues as well as their focus on Cyber Security. Specifically, James Andrew Lewis has been a sole voice on Cyber Security in policy as well as over all Think Tanks. Yet, this posting "In The Dark" leaves me in deeply dismayed.
The report focuses on where we are since the Stuxnet issue broke. My first complaint is that CSIS states there is a growing threat related to Advanced Persistent Threats (APT's). First, we all know this and it's not since Stuxnet it's been over 10 years ago. Second, where's the data? Not only is there none but the data that is provided is survey based on peoples' perceptions. Can we really take someone being inundated with media on APT's telling us that it's going to get worst to actually be trustworthy in that it will? Also, since atribution is difficult to begin with, why do we keep saying and bringing up China? This is a clear sign that it's a immature, fear based piece. What makes it even more problematic for me is that there are troves of data from reputable sources including CSIS that show how targeted attacks have increased.
This report shows no data on the threat or talks about solutions. Sorry, there are four bullet points that talk about general "run of the mill" recommendations. The survey is inherently flawed in how they are using the data and not what I would expect from CSIS. This piece is a complete Fear piece. Now I expect this from McAfee as they are known for this, but CSIS I do not. The only justification I can come up for this is that this was a commissioned article by McAfee to demonstrate thought leadership on a already overly publicly discussed topic. Either that or we have now stepped into the Abyss.
Jim Lewis, say it isn't so.