Resilience session comment piece: Bran Ferren on Cyber Security

Cyber Security

branwho cares?

Thanks in large part to the Computer Revolution, we now live in a world filled with technological wonders, some simply unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Transportation, medicine, education, publishing, journalism, energy production and distribution, banking, financial markets, commerce, public and personal safety, national defense, and even our efforts to find our significant others, all rely on the proper functioning of billions of networked devices connected to the Internet.  Increasingly, what we think of as normal life demands that this constellation of devices works reliably – and generally as intended – by their designers.

But there’s a little problem…

The trust and security frameworks underpinning these astonishing capabilities, simply haven’t kept pace with how people now use them, much less how others might abuse them.

How can this be?

The engineers of these systems have provided just barely enough security to keep the economic engine of E-progress humming.  To increase convenience and lower cost, they deemed a certain amount of vulnerability is acceptable, just as physical retailers accept a certain amount of shrinkage as a cost of doing business.  But with the scale and scope of Internet adoption exceeding all but wildest of speculations, this approach isn’t good enough – not when our identity, prosperity, and personal safety are all at risk as they are now.

So what must we do?

While there are basic things that can and should be done immediately to provide marginal improvements, the comprehensive solutions we need are complex, expensive, and time-consuming.  It remains unclear whose job it is to tackle these challenges and what people will be willing to pay and sacrifice in convenience and privacy to meet them.

by Bran Ferren – GGCS resilience session speaker and panelist

Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds



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