Big Tech Vows, Warrants, Commits, Guarantees, and Assures to Make Security Way Way Way Better

August 26, 2021

I had to laugh. I read some of the write ups explaining the pledges of big tech to the White House about security. The US is at or near the bottom when it comes to security. America plays offense. The defense thing is not what George Washington would do.

Here’s a representative write up: “Google, Microsoft Plan to Spend Billions on Cybersecurity after Meeting with Biden.” This triggered a chuckle and a snort:

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told CNBC ahead of the meeting and outside the White House on Wednesday that cybersecurity is “the issue of the decade.” He said he hoped to see more coordination between the public and private sectors coming out of the meeting and said IBM would do its part to help skill workers in the space.

Why are adversaries of the US running exfiltration, ransomware, and intellectual property theft operations?

Let me count the ways:

  1. Systems from outfits like Apple and Microsoft can be compromised because security is an add on, an afterthought, or a function implemented to protect revenues
  2. Senior managers in many US firms are clueless about security and assume that our employees won’t create problems by selling access, clicking on scammer emails, or working from home on projects funded by bad actors
  3. Customers pay little or no attention to security, often ignoring or working around security safeguards when they exist. Hey, security distracts those folks from scrolling through Facebook or clicking on TikTok videos.

There are other reasons as well; for example, how about the steady flow of one off security gaps discovered by independent researchers. Where are the high end threat intelligence services. If a single person can find a big, gaping security hole, why are the hundreds of smart cyber security systems NOT finding this type of flaw? Oh, right. Well, gee. A zero day by 1,000 evil techies in China or Moldova is the answer. Sorry, not a good answer.

There is a cyber security crisis in America. Yes, Windows may be the giant piece of cheese for the digital rats. Why hack US systems? That’s where there are lots of tasty cheese.

Is there a fix which billions “invested” over five years can fix?


Pipe dreams, empty words, and sheepish acquiescence to a fact that bad actors around the world find enervating.

More stringent action is needed from this day. That’s not happening in my opinion. Who created the cyber security problem? Oh, right the outfits promising do not do it again. Quick action after decades of hand waving. And government regulations, certification, and verification that cyber security systems actually work? Wow, that’s real work. Let’s have a meeting to discuss a statement of work and get some trusted consulting firm on this pronto.

I have tears in my eyes and not from laughing. Nothing funny here.

Stephen E Arnold, August 26, 2021


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