29 January 2022

Cyber Reality: Quest for the Digital Castle...

On this Saturday morning the prayers are silent. For family, friends and also for the subject matter experts in business and the U.S. government.

They have been waking us up again to the reality of the Operational Risks we now face, to our ubiquitous digital-based economic infrastructure.

The message is clear to those insiders, who have been trying to defend our "Digital Castles" against tremendous odds of these seemingly invisible threats. Is it really, game over?

The short answer is yes. The current mindset should be, that every major business of valuable interest in the eyes of the enemy has already been compromised or soon to be. It is already too late. The stealth digital code is currently waiting in the shadows of your organizations hundreds or thousands of digital assets.

Whether it is the aging Dell Tower Desk Tops still running on Windows XP somewhere or the latest Android PDA/Apple IOS devices tethered to the corporate network does not matter. Your adversary has control of when and where to begin the attack on you and your organization.

So if this is the reality of the global state-of-play, in both the business world and also to government, what should the risk management strategy consist of going forward? How could we ever get to a point of advantage over those who seek to do us harm?

So internally, the prudent corporate business strategy should be for your General Counsel and the CIO of your organization to be already preparing themselves for the day that they will step before the press conference microphone to disclose the material breach of the companies intellectual capital or theft of assets.

They should already know, that it is just a matter time and not a denial that it will ever happen on their watch. If you are a Board Director and you still have not had "The Talk" with management about this stark reality, then you too are complicit in the scheme to present your stockholders and stakeholders with a false sense of confidence that you are safe and secure.

The new normal for forward thinking organizations is already being implemented for adverse events. The Crisis Management Team has already exercised the "Data Breach" scenario numerous times.

Your General Counsel and Chief Information Officer have rehearsed and practiced their testimony before opposing and adversarial questioning of your organizations information security processes.

The company subject matter experts are more than prepared to submit evidence of their best practices, industry standards compliance and previous tests of due diligence. The stage is set for the court room battles ahead:

The quest for the "Digital Castle" has been going on for years. Are you awake now or still living in a dream of denial on your state of achieving a Defensible Standard of Care…

23 January 2022

Wonder: Leadership in Action…

Leadership of “Small Teams” to accomplish extraordinary and challenging tasks or milestones has been written about for centuries.

The Leader of your team has certain assets and capabilities for creating the team "Wonder" that others see as worthy of following. The Leader has something the team members admire or, by joining the team, they know they will gain new knowledge or wealth of life experience.

So what is it about this Leader and this particular Team, that has created your ambition to try and join its ranks?

Why will you pursue the hard work and learning the skills to be known by your Leader and your fellow team mates, as a valuable addition to the team?

How does this “Team Leader” recognize those who will perform to baseline expectations and those who will make a valuable contribution to the overall mission?

Are they too tall or too short? Are they too young or too old? Are they too light or too heavy? Are they too sharp or dull? Are they too this or too that.

True Leaders realize from their own experience and continuous Recruiting, Educating, Networking and Sharing information (RENS) with new potential team members that it takes time.

How much time?

“Leadership of Teams” who have seen hundreds if not thousands of potential additions to a team, they will tell you this. "You can never judge anyone on your first impression."

It is not until each one of the new people for this particular team endeavor are provided with a proper orientation, skills testing, extensive training and actual opportunities to perform, that you will learn about them.

Will this particular person be worthy of becoming a long term and valuable team mate and continuously performing with excellence?

We shall find out and see what they are truly capable of in their knowledge, skills and their own ambitions to perform as fellow team members.

How long will you test and train them before you realize that your potential team player is not worthy of the continued time and resources with your team?

Days. Weeks. Months. Years?

You know as a True Leader, that you must finally make an informed decision. You must continue to invest your valuable resources in this individual or you must ask them to leave the team. This brave decision will benefit both of you.

Leadership of “Small Teams” of professionals will continuously have those who think they have found something new. Some new insight or formula that will change everything.

Do you ever experience "Wonder"...

The second, the minute, the hour or the day is ahead of you, when you too will finally realize that you will achieve your objective milestone. Or you might be unable to achieve it.

Whether it is the game or race, or the professional team working relationship, you must make a decision.

Yet never forget, that the wonder of learning will only make you Stronger, more Wise, more Knowledgeable and even more future Resilient...


15 January 2022

Madison Ave to Llewellyne Ave: Digital Warfare on our Doorsteps…

Complex Irregular Warfare, whether "Asymmetric or Hybrid" will be exponential into the next decade and shall consume our Earth and beyond.

John Q. Citizen who is walking down the street in Syria or Europe, Africa, Asia, South America or Kyiv already is more aware of this fact.

“Hybridity ... is characterized by the interpenetration of a wide range of non-state actors including any combination of insurgent or terrorist networks; organized crime groups; social groups such as clans, tribes or ethnic groups; and ideologically or religiously motivated organizations; all of which may be backed covertly or overtly by states and/or legitimate businesses.” 
Schroefl and Kaufman,
“Hybrid Actors,” pp. 862, 867.

This is still about our digital modern warfare, not focused or about the next variant of a biological weapon.

Asymmetric and hybrid warfare is not new and it has been operating on Main Street USA for a decade or more, yet most people are apathetic or complacent as they walk down the sidewalk starring at their latest digital communicator.

Who knows more about you as a person? The people on Madison Avenue or on Amphitheatre Parkway. These forces working together to better understand you as a behavioral thinking machine and to Win, are beyond your typical John Q. Citizens comprehension.

Now take this Asymmetric or Hybrid foundation and apply this to our next 24 hours and to the next 12 months. What you read and what you hear and what you see on an LCD screen, is the modern digital battlefield. In the USA. In Ukraine. In China. In North Korea. In Iran. In the UK.

The corporate and business battlefield has now spread across our other 16+ Critical Infrastructures, such as energy pipelines and beyond to hospitals, schools and universities, water and electric utilities, local government municipalities and vital federal government agencies.

The attack surface has now spread to our homes, apartments and where ever you may connect your little LCD screen to the Internet, for your Work From Home (WFH) strategy.

You see, that little black or white or blue communications box sitting there on your desk, credenza or table in the storage room, with little blinking lights is actually part of this digital global battlefield. You as a citizen soldier now need to do your part.

The Router/modem/Cable box sitting inside your own domicile or business, is the entry point for our modern global adversaries. It is your Duty of Care and your mission to defend your Family, your Community and your Country.

You can realize your own vulnerabilities in order to respond. To increase your resiliency. To upgrade or update your own digital hardware and software, in order to Deter, Detect and Defend, all those we care for in our daily lives.

The so called “Critical Infrastructure” is in your hand, in your business, in your home, and you and your own family are part of this hybrid warfare. Wake up!

From Madison Avenue, New York City NY to Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade MD, to the deepest, darkest parts of the World Wide Internet, a continuous Digital Global War is being waged 86,400 seconds per day…

08 January 2022

Fearless: Over Your Horizon...

How will you be changing your focus in the coming year and over your horizon? Will you make a concerted effort to change some aspect of your life?

Many people declare some kind of resolution after the New Year begins January 1, so others will see them in a different light. What is yours?

What if you continued your life with more courage and a tenacity in following a faith that has lasted thousands of years?

People who together work towards living and demonstrating the life that exhibits what being a follower of Christianity truly means.

Some will make a resolution to lose weight and stop eating beef. Others will say they will stop something else, that they know and realize is so harmful in their life.

"What if you just did a 180 degree turn and instead of being so focused on “Stopping” the bad habit in your life, you became devoted to “Starting” a new behavior."

A new discipline. Starting to “DO” something that you know will be good for you.

In 2022 how might you start a new course, a new habit or a new process to improve your mindset and your outlook on life?

You can start this without declaring it out loud to your family, friends and neighbors.

How about reading or listening about it with your headphones on, for a 15-30 minute time, on a regular basis. On the Metro, on the plane or by yourself early in the morning, or with trusted others in the evening together.

There will be some significant outcomes from your focus and your new discipline. You just might be in wonder at what they are, as they begin to reveal themselves to you.

The first part of this is to declare that you will set aside your time on a regular basis. Will it be certain days of the week at a certain time frame of the day, in your daily schedule of life? The second part is to repeat and never give up.

Recently, a trusted woman who was working on a mutual project years ago with us came back into our life view. She had just written a book about her faith and her new discipline. It was now on Amazon and we exchanged a few quick e-mails.

The book arrived soon thereafter and I started reading it. As each page was turned, it is clear to me that Jennifer is truly someone that we shall learn from. How to be a real “DOER." How to have even more discipline in our prayer, as we go to work and care for our loved ones each day of our lives.

Beyond being a single mother and a professional in her entrepreneurial career, she has made enlightened decisions and started actions in her life over four years ago. This has taken her on a rewarding new spiritual and experiential journey.

In 2022, how might you start your new discipline? Whatever you may choose, Do it with devotion and be Fearless.