Zipper the SIPR: The SolarWinds Blow

December 18, 2020

I found this article interesting: “Pentagon Forces Emergency Shutdown of Computer Network Handling Classified Material.” Since I work in rural Kentucky, I have zero clue if the information in the write is accurate; nevertheless, let me highlight one of the statements in the write up:

An emergency shutdown of a classified internal communications network was ordered at the Pentagon Tuesday. The system, called the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, handles not only classified information but “up to the secret level”…

My hunch is that this is an “abundance of caution” move. Why caution? Why now?

Possibly the SolarWinds misstep is a reason?

At lunch today, a member of my team and I discussed the marketing of smart, 24×7 cyber security systems. Many companies engaged in this type of activity. But how secure are such security systems. Many are more alike than different; for example:

  • Use of open source software
  • Reliance upon standard and often manipulable statistical procedures
  • Licensing tools and content from companies also in the cyber security business.

The result? Fodder for sales professionals and former art history majors now engaged in public relations, webinar production, and Madison Avenue style pitch writing.

Oh, one other result. The possible security thing at a number of US government entities, large corporations, and probably a handful of non governmental organizations.

Big deal? For some, yep, big deal. For others, what’s the hoo-hah about? Just close that deal, book the business, and collect the fees. What’s more important than cyber security? Revenue perhaps?

Stephen E Arnold, December 18, 2020


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