The U.S. and most developed countries have undergone a Revolution in Military Affairs since the end of the first Iraq war. Both China and Russia have been investing large sums in RMA, converting their old-style military into one that’s network-centric in order to be more competitive with the U.S. Admiral McRaven introduced a new RMA wrinkle when he wrote a proposal a few months ago asking for increased authorities to deploy Special Operations Forces globally, often in concert with allied SOF. How we wage war is changing by the minute however a Revolution in Military Affairs isn’t the only revolution that’s needed today. Even more than RMA, we need a Revolution in Security Affairs.
When the largest security companies in the world (RSA and Symantec) have had their own source code stolen by hackers, it’s time to recognize that our present security model is outdated and broken. When George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project brought together six disparate groups that had never worked together before and accomplished in the Sudan what no else had in just 60 days, its time to re-define what “power” is. As someone who consults on information security, cyber warfare and espionage with multiple agencies in the U.S. and allied governments as well as with Fortune 500 companies including the Defense Industrial Base, I can tell you with 100% certainty that our current information security framework is FUBAR. The threat landscape has increased exponentially in the past 20 years. Defending national borders and improving force projection are no longer enough to keep a nation safe thanks to our dependence on global networks. Conversely, the companies and agencies responsible for Information and Communications Technology security are selling products that fail on a daily basis against the most dangerous types of attacks – those targeting specific high value data and critical infrastructure.
I’ve been doing my part to usher in a Revolution in Security Affairs with the help of a few friends in a series of anti-conferences called Suits and Spooks. You can read about the first two events at the website (https://suitsandspooks.com). Basically my goal has been to bring together a diverse group of A-type personalities from within the U.S. intelligence community as well as across private industry who’ve succeeded in solving hard challenges through innovative, outside-the-box thinking. I figured that I’d get them all together in a great space where they don’t have to worry about being quoted in the press (unless they wanted to), invite about 100 folks who have passion and experience in confronting these issues, and watch the creative sparks fly! We’ve done it in Palo Alto last September, in DC in February and we’re going to do it again in Los Angeles next month (June 29). I’ve asked Brandon and Jack if they’d let me make an appeal to the SOFREP community to get involved too. We have an awesome speaker line-up including retired Navy SEAL Rob DuBois, a couple of ex-CIA operators (both women; one of whom helped find al-Zarqawi), a former FBI SSA, the spokesman for the Satellite Sentinel Project in Sudan and several others; possibly even our own Brandon Webb if his schedule allows.
If you feel strongly about this issue, please help me gain momentum for a Revolution in Security Affairs by supporting the Suits and Spooks Anti-conference in any of three ways:
– register to come as an attendee and participate in the day-long discussion
– talk to your employer about becoming a sponsor
– spread the word about the event.
All of the information that you need to get involved can be found at SuitsandSpooks.com, but act fast because space is limited. Thanks everybody.