The cyber threat, trophy information and the fortress mentality

J Bus Contin Emer Plan. 2011 Oct;5(3):195-207.


'It won't happen to me' is a prevalent mindset among senior executives in the private and public sectors when considering targeted cyber intrusions. This is exacerbated by the long-term adoption of a 'fortress mentality' towards cyber security, and by the attitude of many of our cyber-security professionals, who speak a different language when it comes to communicating cyber-security events to senior executives. The prevailing approaches to cyber security have clearly failed. Almost every week another serious, targeted cyber intrusion is reported, but reported intrusions are only the tip of the iceberg. Why have we got it so wrong? It must be acknowledged that cyber security is no longer the domain of cyber-security experts alone. Many more of us at various levels of leadership must understand, and be more deeply engaged in, the cyber-security challenge if we are to deal with the threat holistically and effectively. Governments cannot combat the cyber threat alone, particularly the so-called advanced persistent threat; they must work closely with industry as trusted partners. Industry will be the 'boots on the ground' in cyber security, but there are challenges to building this relationship, which must be based on sound principles.

MeSH terms

  • Civil Defense
  • Computer Security*
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Public-Private Sector Partnerships / organization & administration*
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States
  • Warfare