Report: The Rise of the Cyber Industrial Complex and Expense in Dept
Almost 60 years ago, Dwight Eisenhower gave his indelible speech on the military industrial complex. In the speech, he talked about the need “to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future.” He also spoke about how we should use our “power in the interest of world peace and betterment,” and that to strive for less would be “unworthy.” He astutely called out that “good judgment seeks not only balance, but progress” and “the lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.”
As I approached my 17th RSA conference at the beginning of 2019, I reflected back on Eisenhower’s speech and realized more fully what I had witnessed for almost 18 years: the rise of a cyber industrial complex. Seventeen years ago, the RSA conference was attended by several thousand people, and had a few hundred sessions and vendors. This year, the conference drew an estimated 45,000 attendees to more than 550 sessions and 700 vendors, in addition to all the other unaccounted-for activities and adjacent attendees for ancillary meetings, side conferences, and the multitude of other vendors roaming around without a booth.
But even with the growth of security vendors and the attendant rise in spending, we have not delivered real progress as an industry, as evidenced by the continued exponential growth in the cyber risk cycle. Some say this is because we have historically underfunded information security; but, while that may be true, it’s only a contributing factor and not the full story.
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