We continue our notes on the Global Cyber Innovation Summit, held last Wednesday and Thursday in Baltimore. The symposium offered an overview of current and emerging threats, and of the technology trends that both expose enterprises to such threats and offer the prospect of enhanced defenses.
Estonia's Ambassador-at-large for Cyber Security, Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, shared her country's experience as not only one of the most thoroughly digitized societies in the world, but as the victim of what's come to be generally regarded as the first cyber war, Russia's 2007 attacks against the networks of the Baltic republic. She characterized it as the "first politically motivated cyber campaign in history," and drew the lesson that good public-private partnership and solid expertise can work to build a society resilient enough to withstand even attacks by a highly capable cyber power.
Not all threats are the proximate work of a nation-state. During a panel discussion on the conference's first day, Carbon Black's Mike Viscuso emphasized the sheer size of the criminal underground at work in cyberspace. The underground cyber economy is now larger, he emphasized, than the illicit drug trade. In fact, it's now a better than trillion-dollar industry. He thinks that as defenses get better (and they have been getting better) the criminals will cease playing the long game because the long game will no longer pay off. They'll increasingly turn to smash-and-grab attacks.
The CyberWire will have further coverage of the Summit later this week.