Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cybersecurity: A New Horizon For Civic Hacking?

Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking # 1: A New Horizon For Civic Hacking? 

Today’s post proposes a significant new focus for civic hacking: Local and Regional Cybersecurity.

If you think cybersecurity problems you hear about are just hype generated by media people distorting reality to get more readers or by computer security companies and agencies trying to create demand for their products, read “Cyber-Espionage Nightmare” from the MIT Technology Review before you read the rest of this blog post.

Article's best quote: “The failure of the companies’ supposed security technologies was stupefying.”

One of the principles of civic hacking is that civic hackers feel responsible for and capable of creating solutions for local or regional problems they feel should be addressed. Civic hackers should not (1) just complain about problems, or (2) tell someone else to fix the problem. The civic hacker should make an informed effort to do what they can to fix the problem.

I think cybersecurity in NE Wisconsin is a problem. I am working to create a solution for that problem.

This blog post is the beginning of working toward a solution.

My next steps toward helping create a solution are:

  1. Do additional online research about civic hacks involving cybersecurity.
  2. Reach out to people potentially interested in both civic hacking and cybersecurity.
  3. Continue discussions with NE Wisconsin people about civic hacking to improve cybersecurity.
  4. Encourage high profile civic hackers to promote and enable cybersecurity civic hacking.
  5. Email a link to this post to presidents or chancellors and computer science faculty at the nine NE Wisconsin colleges, along with a request to launch a collaborative regional cybersecurity initiative.
  6. Continue to refine my proposal for a collaborative regional cybersecurity pilot initiative.
  7. Develop additional action steps to increase civic hacking involvement in cybersecurity.

Very little online information about civic hacking activity focused on cybersecurity appears to be easily discoverable. No doubt a few people have considered or done civic hacking related to cybersecurity. But the only two online items definitely related to cybersecurity civic hacking I could find were National Day of Civic Hacking 2014 challenges from the Department of Homeland Security; Build a (Cyber)Security Appliance and Creating Cyber Courseware. I emailed the contact person for those two challenges and asked for any info about cybersecurity civic hacking he can give me.

In the past 12 months, I proposed to several colleges in our area that we develop a collaborative regional cybersecurity program so residents, as well as businesses and other organizations, in NE Wisconsin will have cost-effective local options which provide documented expert assistance to understand and achieve the level of cybersecurity they need. I also requested they connect me with other influential people who might support a regional cybersecurity program.

However, as far as I know, there has not been any progress toward that kind of a cybersecurity initiative in our area.

Until influential people in NE Wisconsin support the launch of a regional cybersecurity initiative, residents in the region will have to be satisfied with their current options for understanding and having good cybersecurity.

It is possible that somebody from outside our region will help residents and businesses in NE Wisconsin understand and achieve significantly improved cybersecurity at some point in the future.

But depending on ‘somebody from outside our region’ has gotten us to the point we’re at with cybersecurity…

If we’re concerned about our personal or organizational cybersecurity, we can launch a NE Wisconsin cybersecurity initiative.

Or, we can wait for the US government (with at least 39 separate agencies and departments working on cybersecurity), Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Symantec / Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky (a Russian company), AVG (a Czech company), Intel, AMD, Lenovo (a Chinese company), Samsung (a Korean company) Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon and all the other tech organizations to greatly improve our personal and organizational cybersecurity.

I prefer not to wait.

I propose one or several NE Wisconsin colleges launch a collaborative regional cybersecurity pilot initiative. Civic hackers known as the Northeast Wisconsin Cyber Defense Force (NEW CDF), in collaboration with a new college cybersecurity program, help area residents and businesses maintain the best possible computer security and personal privacy. NEW CDF is a cadre of ethical and knowledgeable technologists working together to improve and practice their cybersecurity knowledge and skills. CDF provides practical training for business and personal computer security at the CDF Cybersecurity Training Center or onsite at northeast Wisconsin businesses and organizations. This community of cybersecurity civic hackers also helps catalyze and spin off cybersecurity startups and other high tech businesses.

This cybersecurity pilot initiative has two goals; (1) help bring a giant step change improvement in the everyday cybersecurity proficiency of NE Wisconsin residents and organizations, and (2) create a civic hacker model that similar regions can follow or learn from if they want better cybersecurity in their area.

Calls To Action

  1. If you want to discuss civic hacking on cybersecurity, email me at bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com.
  2. If you are in favor of launching a NE Wisconsin cybersecurity initiative, send a link to this post to all the influential people you know in the area and strongly encourage them to help make that initiative happen.
  3. If you’re a high profile or influential civic hacker, promote and enable more civic hacking on cybersecurity.
  4. If you’re an influential person who can help make this proposal happen, please contact me.


DHMN Civic Hacks posts about 'Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking':
C&CH # 01: This post, published June 17, 2015
C&CH # 02: “Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking # 2: Public Wi-Fi
C&CH # 03: "Cybersecurity & CH # 3: The Right Person / Topics Of Interest"
C&CH # 04: "Cybersecurity & CH # 4: Malware"
C&CH # 05: “Cybersecurity & CH # 5: Even Cybersecurity Companies Get Hacked!
C&CH # 06: "Cybersecurity & CH # 6: How Cybersecure Is Your Car?"
C&CH # 07: "Cybersecurity & CH # 7: Data Breaches"
C&CH # 08: "Cybersecurity & CH # 8: Hype or Reality?"


1 comment:

  1. All businesses are vulnerable to cyber attacks, especially the ones that don't have a special part of their budget intended for hacker attacks prevention.