15 November 2015

Mass Movements: Adapting to the Threat...

As if the act of bombing a Russian Airliner Flight 9268 with 224 crew and tourists returning from a Red Sea vacation is not a clear indicator of ISIS as a mass movement, perhaps this attack on Paris will be:

1.  Stade De France - 9:20PM - Suicide Bomber - 1 Killed
2.  Rue Alibert - 9:25PM - 2 Gunmen by car - 15 Killed
3.  Casa Nostra - Moments Later - Same 2 Gunmen - 5 Killed
4.  La Belle Equipe - 9:36PM - Same 2 Gunmen - 19 Killed
5.  Bataclan - 9:40PM - 3 Gunmen - 2 hours later - Suicide Bombers - 89 Killed
6.  Cafe Comptoir Voltaire - 9:40PM - Suicide Bomber - 1 critically injured

As we say our continued prayers for those lost and consider the consequences of just these two single recent terrorist events, you can try to ask yourself, what now?  How will we address this kind of continuous threat and evil going forward?  Why did this happen?

To begin your understanding as a true Operational Risk Management (ORM) professional, you must start here.  In 1951 a migratory worker and longshoreman, Eric Hoffer wrote a book, The True Believer:  Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements:

"The readiness for self-sacrifice is contingent on an imperviousness to the realities of life. He who is free to draw conclusions from his individual experience and observation is not usually hospitable to the idea of martyrdom... All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth or certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ."

 There are some who know, that Hoffer understood some things about mass movements that pertain to our current state in 2015.  This set of traits and characteristics is essential understanding by all, if we are to begin to develop a strategy for the future.  To quote Hoffer again:  "However different the holy causes people die for, they perhaps die basically for the same thing."

Our future state requires a strategy that we agree on the correct taxonomy.  Whether the battle is being waged on a nation state having sovereign authority or the private enterprises of non-state actors in Cyberspace, without taxonomy, we will continue to struggle with our strategy.  What is terrorism and what is a crime?

CRIME noun 1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.

TERRORISM noun 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
First, the actions that you take and the resources that are necessary to address the evil of terrorism vs. an organized crime wave, are clearly different.

Second, you must understand the source of the elements of a "mass movement."
STRATEGY noun, plural strategies. 1. Also, strategics. the science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations
Are you working on a strategy right now to address cybercrime? Are you working on a strategy right now to work on cyberterrorism? Is either of these strategies tied to defeating a mass movement?

You see, the tools, tactics and resources that you are using to implement your strategy, may be all wrong. The future outcomes you seek, may not be possible with the strategy you have in place. Once you have come to this realization, there is an opportunity to adapt. However, you must adapt quickly and you must provide the resources instantly to enable the change.

How would you adapt, if you came to the realization that your quest was with adversaries who have actions such as:
  • Steal / Modify / Delete
  • Read / Copy
  • Bypass / Spoof
  • Authenticate
  • Flood
  • Probe / Scan
How would you adapt, if you came to the realization that your quest was with adversaries who have objectives such as:
  • Challenge, Status, Thrill
  • Political Gain
  • Financial Gain
  • Damage
How would you adapt, if you came to the realization that your quest was with a Mass Movement?

You now realize that you may have the same problem, that many of our world leaders have today.  It could be time to finally admit, that you must now adapt and it is time to change your strategy.

GODSPEED noun 1. good fortune; success (used as a wish to a person starting on a journey, a new venture, etc.).

No comments:

Post a Comment