An Ironic Cabinet Lineup {humorous}

shhh

[Please only read this with a sense of political humor.]


Here are some funny ideas for domestic and foreign picks for a fantasy Cabinet team:


Department of Defense – (Oh no) Russian President Vladimir Putin because he knows how to fight and win wherever he wants. 


Department of State – (Oh no) Julian Assange because he has so may of the cables anyway.


Department of Treasury – (Oh no) President Barack Obama because he doubled the national debt to $20 trillion and it’s no problem.


Department of Commerce – Chinese President Xi Jinping because he has most of the world’s manufacturing and the biggest trade surplus. 


Department of Justice – (Oh no) James Comey (with all due respect) because he could investigate Hillary Clinton and deem her “extremely careless” with national security and yet also do the job of the prosecutors and recommend that “no reasonable” one would bring such a case. 


Department of Education – (What if) Sergey Brin and Larry Page because they made Google the most valuable company in the world by organizing all the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. 


Department of Labor – (What if) Ken Jennings who was beaten in Jeopardy by IBM’s Watson, and understands that artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics will soon be eating people’s lunch. 


Department of Homeland Security – (Oh no) Edward Snowden because he already knows all about surveillance–how we conduct it, how to evade it, as well as the vulnerabilities in our security. 


Department of Transportation – (What if) Elon Musk because of his leadership in electronic vehicles here on earth as well as rockets to even get us to Mars. 


Department of Energy – (Oh no) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani because he knows how to get his nukes while ridding his country of sanctions and getting $150 billion to continue global terror


Department of Agriculture – (Oh no) Any of the notorious drug kingpins because they know how to grow it, distribute it, and make lots of money doing it. 


Department of Interior – (Oh no) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because he manages one of the most remote (Isolationist) nations on Earth and does it with virtually complete self-sufficiency. 


Department of Veterans Affairs – (Oh no) Bowe Bergdahl because he was charged with desertion and still managed to get honored in a White House ceremony.


Environmental Protection Agency – (Oh no) Former CEO of BP John Browne because he knows the ramifications of being responsible for one of the worst polluting industrial accidents in history in the Gulf of Mexico.


Housing and Urban Development – (What if) Ivanka Trump because she is an absolute class act and helps run one of the greatest brands in building and managing real estate worldwide. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via National Geographic)

Preventing Cyber Disaster

prevention

So I liked this ad from Palo Alto Networks on the side of the bus, over the windows:

“Dinosaurs react.
Professionals prevent.”

That’s some very good marketing for a cyber security company.


It’s almost a daily occurrence now to hear about the infiltrations into our networks and exfiltrations or manipulations of data that is taking place across government and industry.


Just today again, another NSA contractor accused of stealing highly classified computer code.


The day before Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks releases trove of stolen documents from the Clinton Foundation


And again, J&J reveals that it’s insulin pump is vulnerable to hacking following allegations in August that St. Jude heart devices were subject to life-threatening hacking. 


Certainly, we can’t afford to sit back and wait to react to the next attack…damage control and remediation is much harder than getting out in front of the problem in the first place. 


Prevention and deterrence is really the only solution…keep the hackers out and make sure they know that if they mess with us and our systems that we can identify who they are, find them, and take them out. 


These are the capabilities we need and must employ to dominate the cyber realm. 


In the presidential debates, candidates struggled to articulate how to deal with cybersecurity


But this is not a game of cyberopoly, rather national security, critical infrastructure, vital intellectual property, and our economy is at risk. 


Giving away Internet control and trying to plug leaks after the fact on a sinking cyber ship is no way to manage our vital technology resources.


It’s high time for the equivalent Cold War determination and investment that ensures we win a free and safe cyberspace with all our networks and data intact. 


This is the only way that we don’t go the way of the dinosaurs. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing The Edge, No More

Copyright

For years, there has been all sorts of uproar about the U.S. and its citizens and businesses losing their edge.

 

From critics who point out to how our educational system (especially through high school) is not keeping up, how we are not attracting and graduating enough folks in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), how our inventions are freely copied overseas, and how innovation and entrepreneurship is suffering at home whether due to challenging economic or social conditions.

 

Yet, when it comes to losing our edge, nothing is more maddening than when the technological advances we do have are taken from us–this happens in numerous ways, including:

 

– Cyber Attacks: According to the Pentagon Strategy on Cyberwar as per the Wall Street Journal (15 July 2011) “each year a volume of intellectual property the size of the Library of Congress is stolen from U.S. government and private-sector networks.” Cyber espionage has affected a broad range of our prized national assets: from Space Shuttle designs to the Joint U.S. Defense Strategy with South Korea as del as the plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and more. Moreover and unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. For example, this past August, McAfee disclosed a cyber spying operation dubbed Operation Shady Rat that infiltrated some 71 government and corporate entities of which 49 were in the U.S. and which included more than a dozen defense firms over five years, compromising a massive amount of information.

 

– Spies/Insider Threats: Spies and insider threats can turn over state secrets to foreign powers or entities causing a major lose to our competitive advantage. This has happened with convicted spies from Aldrich Ames to FBI agent Robert Hanssen, and more recently to Army Corporal Bradley Manning accused of turning over troves of restricted documents to WikLleaks. And despite the amazing efforts to catch these subversives, presumably, there are plenty more where they came from.

 

– Expropriations: We lose our edge to foreign nations and organizations when our high-technology or intellectual assets are used without our consent or otherwise seized and compromised. This can happen from having our copyrights trampled on, our designs simply copied and “knockoffs” produced and peddled, or even when we are in a sense forced to exchange our intellectual property for basic entry into foreign markets. But this also happens more explicitly and violently when our assets are literally taken from us. For example this happened in April 2001, when Chinese fighter jets intercepted (in international air space) and crashed a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance plane and didn’t return it until July in disassembled pieces. Similarly, when the tail of the stealth modified MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, with sensitive military technology, used in the raid in Osama bin Laden’s was recovered and held by Pakistan for weeks before it was returned to the U.S. And we saw this again this week when the Iranians showed off a prized RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone they now have seized, and which secrets presumably may end up in Russian, Chinese, or ultimately terrorist hands.

 

Developing an edge is not something we should take lightly or for granted–It is based on lots of talent, experience, and hard work and we do not have an exclusive hold on any of these.

 

We must prize our scientific and technological advances and secure these the way a mother protects it’s young–fiercely and without compromise.

 

No matter how much or fast we churn out the advances, it will not matter if we do not safeguard our investments from those who would take it right out from under us. We can do this by significantly increasing investment in cyber security, strengthening counterespionage efforts, and not letting any nation or organization take something that doesn’t belong to them without consequences–economic or military–that restore our edge and then some.

 

(Source Photo: here)

>Fixing The Information Flow

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Faucet

So check this out–H2Glow has an LED faucet light that it temperature sensitive and turns blue for cold water and red for hot.

When I saw this, I thought this would be a great metaphor for managing the information flow from our organizations–where we could quickly and simply see whether the information flowing was sharable and for public consumption (“blue”) or whether something was private and proprietary (“red”).

The Economist, 24 February 2011, in an article called “The Leaky Corporation” writes: “Digital information is easy not only to store, but also to leak. Companies must decide what they really need to keep secret, and how best to do so.”

Like a faucet that gushes water, our organizations are releasing information–some with intent (where we are in control) and much without (due is spillage and pilferage).

In the age of WikiLeaks, computer hackers, criminals, terrorists, and hostile nation states, as well as the insider threat, information is leaking out uncontrollably from our organizations and this puts our vital competitive information, national secrets, and personal privacy information at risk (i.e. health, financial, identity, and so on).

Of course, we want the proverbial blue light to go on and information to be shared appropriately for collaboration and transparency, but at the same time, we need to know that the light will turn red and the information will stop, when information is justifiably private and needs to be kept that way.

Being an open and progressive society, doesn’t mean that that there is only cold water and one color–blue. But rather, that we can discern the difference between cold and hot, blue and red, and turn the faucet on and off, accordingly.

Information is proliferating rapidly, and according to IDC, a market research firm, the “digital universe” is expected to “increase to 35 zettabytes by 2020.”–a zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes or the equivalent of 250 billion DVDs.

Therefore, the necessity of filtering all this digitally available information for inside use and outside consumption is going to become more and more critical.

According to The Economist article, we will need to employ the latest techniques and automation tools in:

Enterprise Content Management–to “keep tabs on digital content, classify it, and define who has access to it.”
Data Loss Prevention–using “software that sits at the edge of a firm’s network and inspects the outgoing data traffic.”
Network Forensics–“keep an eye on everything in the a corporate network and thus…detect a leaker.”

Of course, as the Ciso chief security officer says: “technology can’t solve the problem, just lower the probability of accidents.

In the end, we need to make sure people understand the vulnerability and the dangers of sharing the “red” information.

We can focus our employees on protecting the most critical information elements of the organization by a using a risk management approach, so that information with the high probability of a leak and with the greatest possible negative impact to the organization is filtered and protected the most.

The leaky faucet is a broken faucet and in this case we are all the plumbers.