From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XII: CYBERSECURITY


The headlines have been screaming for several years about cyber-attacks that hit every aspect of our daily lives. What once was solely the province of credit card fraud has now extended to phishing for personal details. Infections bring malicious code that does everything from destroy your hard disk to steal your personal information to encrypt your files and hold them for ransom to turn your PC or cell phone, or even TV, into a mindless drone in a massive bot army ready to wreak havoc in your digital name. Where does it stop? We can no longer trust the news now that bots push fake news to drive up clicks, we worry about the lights going off because power plants are under siege, and now we wonder if we can trust our elections.
One of the key factors that drove us to write the CISO Desk Reference Guide was the realization that we’re outmanned and out gunned. Outmanned in that we need thousands more cybersecurity specialists than are available today, and many firms are hiring their first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Out gunned in that the tools of the past, that aimed to deploy a firewall to protect a well-defined and completely self-contained enterprise network, are no longer even a meager deterrent for a mildly determined cybercriminal. We can no longer even draw the distinction between cybercrime and nation-state activity, as recent reports acknowledge that the criminals are almost as well equipped as the spies.
What is critically important is that we bring all the soft power and all the hard power we can muster against this threat. We envision a world that is safe from threats and to get there, society must become educated, we must act in unison, and we must become more informed consumers and a more informed electorate. As we engage more on how to make our world safer, we must recognize each person’s role and resist the temptation to assume our government or big industry bears sole responsibility. We didn’t eradicate most infectious disease in the developed world by leaving it to just the doctors, and we’re not going to rid the world of cybercrime and cyber terrorism by leaving it to the experts alone.
It is with this backdrop that Dr. Cheryl Lentz continues her award-winning Refractive Thinker® series by bringing forth PhD theses on cybersecurity in a new volume XII: Cybersecurity in an Increasingly Insecure World. In this pivotal work, her scholars are approaching the cybersecurity issue from all the right angles. Dr. Tracy Celaya and Dr. Adam Pierce look at the challenges of getting talent right in Human Resources in the Cloud: Hiring and Protecting Data and Hiring Outsourced Cybersecurity Professionals for Government Contracts, respectively. Dr. Ivan Salaberrios further explores the talent area, addressing how to hang out your own shingle. Several authors address cybersecurity issues in the realm of higher education, where profound changes must be made to bring critical skills to those who are preparing to enter the cyber workforce. These works include addressing integrity and ethics, as well as raising awareness of cybersecurity in the higher education domain, because yes, our schools are under attack as well.
These acclaimed authors bring critical thinking to many of the topics so important to the cybersecurity discussion. From setting policy as discussed by Dr. Loyce Chitambo to managing access in the cloud as put forth by Dr. Susie Schild and Dr. Robert Boggs these topics are timely and the need for scholarly treatment has never been greater.
As you read the pages ahead, we ask you to ask yourself: “What should I be doing to make a safer cyber world?” This is critically important if we’re to reap the benefits promised in this new digital age.