Arts and Culture

A deep dive into the universe of cybersecurity

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With the world working from home, cybercrime has never been a bigger threat Image: Unsplash/Michael Dziedzic

Phil Quade
Chief Information Security Officer, Fortinet
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As the coronavirus continues to spread, those who are lucky enough to continue working from home, are more vulnerable than ever to the threat of cybercrime. Read an extract from The Digital Big Bang by Phil Quade to learn more about the importance of cybersecurity:

Mankind experiences some of its greatest disappointments and disasters when we fail to acknowledge the fundamentals of physics and chemistry. As we solve problems and improve technology, we must work with, not against, the foundation of the laws of mass, force, energy, and chemical reactions—laws that began with the cosmic Big Bang.

Humankind’s efforts to explain the origin of the cosmos birthed disciplines such as physics and chemistry. Scientists conceived of the cosmic ‘Big Bang’ as an explosion of particles—everything in the universe centered around core elements and governed by laws of matter and gravity.

In the modern era of digital technology, we are experiencing a similar explosion of ones and zeros, an exponentially expanding universe of bits of data centered around the core elements of speed and connectivity. Like the physical world, cybersecurity has its own set of fundamentals: speed and connectivity. When organizations ignore these fundamentals, we suffer the consequences. Instead, the industry must reveal and embrace the connection between fundamental scientific principles and cybersecurity best practices.

One of the disciplines to emerge from our efforts to make sense of this new universe is the science of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is as central to the Digital Age as physics and chemistry were to the Scientific Age. The Digital Big Bang explores current and emerging knowledge in the field of cybersecurity, helping readers think like scientists to master cybersecurity principles and overcome cybersecurity challenges.

Digital technology has come to enmesh and propel nearly every aspect of modern life, from the operational infrastructure that keeps our cities and towns powered and functioning, to the now almost entirely digitally driven systems of global finance, security, and energy production. The rapid transference of digital information is how we connect, communicate and—in many ways—sustain human life, order, and a tentative semblance of peace on Earth.

We are on the verge of a new understanding of a basic element of human society. Just as the world has understood that economic security has been highly dependent on a stable flow of fossil fuels and that national security is dependent on safeguards for nuclear weapons, today we understand that, in our hyperconnected world, there is no global security without understanding and mastering the science of cybersecurity.

This innovative text adopts a scientific approach to cybersecurity, identifying the science’s fundamental elements and examining how these elements intersect and interact with each other. Author Phil Quade distills his over three decades of cyber intelligence, defense, and attack experience into an accessible, yet detailed, single-volume resource. Designed for non-specialist business leaders and cybersecurity practitioners alike, this authoritative book is packed with real-world examples, techniques, and strategies no organization should be without.

Like the scientists of centuries ago, who led the search for knowledge about the cosmic big bang, space, and the science behind it, this book includes thoughtful observations, hypotheses, and conclusions on cyberspace and the digital big bang from many of today’s cybersecurity leaders. Contributions from many of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts and policymakers enable readers to firmly grasp vital cybersecurity concepts, methods, and practices. We define success as enabling a pace of innovation in the field of security that outruns the inevitable attempts by adversaries to do their dirty deeds.

This important book:

  • Guides readers on both fundamental tactics and advanced strategies
  • Features observations, hypotheses, and conclusions on a wide range of cybersecurity issues
  • Helps readers work with the central elements of cybersecurity, rather than fight or ignore them
  • Includes content by cybersecurity leaders from organizations such as Microsoft, Target, ADP, Capital One, Verisign, AT&T, Samsung, and many others
  • Offers insights from national-level security experts including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell

The Digital Big Bang is an invaluable source of information for anyone faced with the challenges of 21st century cybersecurity in all industries and sectors, including business leaders, policy makers, analysts and researchers as well as IT professionals, educators, and students.

When we build our cybersecurity based on a complete understanding of fundamental elements and how they can work together, we can inspire and encourage scientific revolutions and evolutions in cybersecurity that will make us much better off. As our connectivity expands and deepens, the strength and intractability of these fundamentals only becomes more apparent. And more necessary. Embracing cybersecurity as a science can be an incredibly powerful and effective way to underpin innovation.

It is our hope that by focusing on the fundamental and foundational principles of the science of cybersecurity, this book will empower those who fight the battles to achieve more effective, efficient, and consistent victories for many years to come.

Phil Quade is the CISO of Fortinet. Phil brings more than three decades of cyber intelligence, defense, and attack experience, working across foreign, government, and commercial industry sectors.

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