Friday, April 30, 2010

Cyber Threat

I imagine cyberspace like in the movies, as points of light. It's like looking down from an airplane at night - mostly vast darkness but interspersed with brightly lit areas of activity. There is a lot going on in these brightly lit areas: data being moved, software executing. In real life, there are people down there doing people stuff. But in cyberspace, the people are represented by software entities. Software is created by people, and thus is an extension of human intent.

When we talk about cyber threats, we need to conceptualize the relationship between the person and the software entity. Cyber threats are not just about malware, nor just about a human actor. You can't separate the two. It doesn't make sense to talk about human threats that don't manifest in cyberspace. And, malware that isn't backed by human intent would cease to be a threat. Our job is to explore this relationship between a human and his manifestation in cyberspace. The very word 'cyber threat' implies this relationship. It's direct and basic.