25 April 2020

FIRST Responders: Our New Age of Learning...

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Brene Brown

What will we learn during this COVID-19 crisis?  How did we learn as a result of the incident known as 9/11?

Our vulnerability this time, is far beyond scanning luggage and the new processes for ID check or travel analysis.  Brene Brown has been trying to educate us, in so many important ways.

In all our years of an "All Hazards" Homeland risk management philosophy, what have we learned?  How will we Assess, Prepare, Respond and Recover even better, from this point forward?

What have you discovered about your organizations ability to adapt, innovate, create and change during this first quarter of 2020?  Will you even survive?

One key item may have revealed itself in your experience so far.  How would you improve your organization, when it comes to "Incident Response"?

One truth is, that our individuals who have a "C" in their title acronym, (CEO, CSO, CIO, CTO, CISO, CMO, CRO) have been challenged in new ways.  These same leaders have not trained enough, or long enough in this past decade.  Complacency is now becoming apparent again.

Our leadership skills have all been exposed to the vulnerabilites of people, processes, systems and external events.  We have been caught off guard on a spectrum of challenging global incidents just these past 24 months.  A crisis spectrum that spans our physical world.  Also to our invisible virtual digital world.

Our growing "Incident Response Spectrum" is wide and vast.  It still requires specialized skills and knowledge to address the kind of change, that will now increasingly be required, in Fortune 500 Global Companies, Mid-Market INC 500 emerging businesses and especially, our Small-Medium Businesses (SMB).

How will we continuously Adapt, Create and Change from this point forward?

You almost could have predicted, how well our cities and our local municipal governments would fare in the COVID-19 crisis?  An invisible threat vector.  How?

Look at just one example.  How well have our cities and Critical Infrastructure organizations performed during their "Incident Response" from the dozens of Ransomware Attacks?  Digital malware, that has plagued our cities these past few years.

Ask Baltimore, MD about their particular learning curve, on what they have learned since discovering their own vulnerabilities.  How they discovered the real value. of effective Incident Response.

Look at another emerging example.  How well have our U.S. companies been exercising their "Incident Response" plans with disruptions to our Supply Chains?  Issues with the availability of critical equipment and commodities, that previously would never have thought to be so vital to our ongoing response?

America.  This new era going forward, is going to be about our innovation age all over again.  It will be all about creativity.  And it will be much more about dramatic change.

Most of all, it will be about finding grace.  About our compassion.  You see, we are Americans.  Our endurance and our leadership, is inherent to our people and all of the U.S. organizations, that will rise up to meet this crisis and others in our future.

So what?

Our Incident Response and Security Teams will be learning even more now.  Our organizations will be "Up Skilling" or "Skilling Up," with new found tools, processes and policies.

Our supply chains will become even more resilient.  Our Critical Infrastructure and essential services will be gearing up for the "W" curve of recovery.

So what will you be doing to innovate and create a new mechanism to make us even better?

How will you do it with grace and compassion while working towards collaboration with others, instead of just being competitive?

Our American tragedy, will not just be about how many people have died.  This alone is enough.

Yet, it will be about our FIRST Responders.

This new spectrum of FIRST Responders, is so much wider than you ever realized.  Who is a FIRST Responder in your organization?  In your entire community.

The skills and knowledge of our FIRST Responders from this point foward, must improve, will expand and we will do this all together.

This next paradigm, is about Communication, Cooperation and ongoing Collaborative Education.

Will you join us...

18 April 2020

Single Points of Failure: Interdependencies Unknown...

Organizations such as WashingtonDCFIRST exist in our Nations Capital to address the need for a coalition of private sector companies and people to work on being proactive, not reactive.

"Defend Forward."

This requires leadership to focus on the critical interdependencies you share with your large corporate neighbor down the street or around the corner.

Do you both share the same Central Office from Verizon? Do you have the same pumping station for DC Water? Do you have a shared sub-station for power from Pepco?

If you do, then you both know some of your Single-Points-of-Failure.

While you may never be able to establish walls, or fences high enough and virtual ICS locked gates to totally protect your single-points-of-failure, you can create an architecture that deters attacks and detects changes.

And if you do have an alert or alarm go off, then you must investigate the incident no matter how insignificant it may be. Those organizations who believe that they are not in the bulls eye of some worthy adversary, should pay attention:
  • Shape behavior  - The United States must work with allies and partners to promote responsible behavior in cyberspace. 
  • Deny benefits  - The United States must deny benefits to adversaries who have long exploited cyberspace to their advantage, to American disadvantage, and at little cost to themselves. This new approach requires securing critical networks in collaboration with the private sector to promote national resilience and increase the security of the cyber ecosystem.
  • Impose costs  - The United States must maintain the capability, capacity, and credibility needed to retaliate against actors who target America in and through cyberspace.
Your competitors and even your neighbors realize that this game, is not always about eliminating threats to your own corporate assets. It's about making sure that the attackers choose a much more vulnerable target than your own...

12 April 2020

Experiential Learning on Easter: 2020 & Beyond...

There you are.  We have been waiting for you.  You are a miracle and we have so much to learn from you...

As you experience your day, look around.  Look up.  Our world is an amazing place to live and to experience life.  Yet full of so many challenges, along the way.

How will you learn about all of the parts of life that are invisible?   You will only know more about it by experiencing it and by encountering all of the heart break and hopefully all of the joy.

You see, learning something new and experiential learning, is how you will grow each day.  This is not in inches or feet, this growth is exponential and infinite.

Have you read the book about how to ride a bicycle?

Don't worry.  You won't have to, as your Mother, or Father or even your GrandPa or GrandMa, will be there to guide you.  They will be there to help you balance.  They will help you learn, by experiencing it together.

You will first find out, that it is not easy.  That you will encounter falls and some tears.  You will feel the pain.  Yet at some point in your experiential journey, one day, you will feel the joy.  You will feel the freedom.  The wind in your face.

Those who have a birth day in 2020, are joining a world that is under seige right now.  They will not remember.  Yet it is all of our love and our faith together, that will allow you to endure.

We all will be watching you grow.  Taller yes and we wonder who you really are.  Who you will eventually become.  We know that you will be a curious one.  You will seek new knowledge and learn new skills, just as your closest teachers have experienced with you.

Yet always remember, so much of the joy, faith and wonder of your life, will come from places you can not see...and can only feel in your heart and thoughts...until someday you get there on your own.

Godspeed on Easter Sunday 2020!

05 April 2020

Crisis Leadership: Our Unison of Human Endeavor...

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way.
In the wilderness.
Rivers in the desert.  --Isaiah 43:19
On this particular Sunday in history, look around. Who do you see?  Who is looking to you for answers?

What are you doing to anticipate?  To Prepare.  To Activate.  To Respond.

You see, our current state, is an opportunity to act.  By all of us.  In "UNISON".

If you have learned anything in these past several weeks to a month, this particular crisis has uncovered our gaps.  Our weaknesses.  Your vulnerabilities.

So what are you going to do about it?  Today, tomorrow and the day after.  To Act.  Do you not see it?

Your family and closest friends are watching.  They expect your leadership.  They want your expertise and your experience.  You have the skills and the knowledge our country needs this week.  And the next week after.

It will require your inner strength.  It will test all that you have trained for.  It will be the actions you take soon, that will ensure our future.

What will you do this week to make a difference?  With your family, with your neighbor, with your colleague, with your organization, with your country...

You can see it in your minds eye.  Remember, there are others who will be there to support you, to assist you in your "Human Endeavor".

Our resilience is so much greater than you realize.  We are listening...we have the courage to act!