Global Security Defence Agenda Report

McAfee and the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA) have revealed their findings in a report that attempts to paint a global view of the current cyber-threat, (sigh* Cyber?  Really?) defensive measures, and an assessment of the road ahead.  The report was created to identify key areas for discussion, highlight trends, and to help governments and organizations understand how their security defense posture compares to others.

This report involved a survey and interviews with roughly 250 leading authorities worldwide with over 80 security experts in government, international organizations and academia.  It is aimed at the “influential layperson”, and deliberately avoids technical jargon.

Some Key Findings:

  • 57% of global experts believe an arms race is taking place in cyber space.
  • 45% of respondents believe that online security is as important as border security.
  • 43% identified damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the greatest single threat with wide economic consequences.
  • 36% believe information security is more important than missile defense.
  • US, Australia, UK, China and Germany all ranked behind smaller countries for their state of incident readiness.

Some Recommendations:

  • Real-time global information sharing is required.
  • Build trust between industry and government stakeholders by setting up bodies to share information and best practices.
  • Improve communication between communities, from policy-makers to technology experts and business leaders.
  • Development of international, best-practice led, security standards is needed.
  • Create financial incentives for improvements in security for both private and public sectors.
  • New problems and opportunities created by smart phones and cloud computing must be examined.
  • More power to law enforcement to combat cross-border electronic crime.
  • Diplomatic challenges facing global online treaties need to be addressed.
  • Increase public awareness of how individuals can protect their own information.   Public awareness campaigns must go beyond current programs to help laypersons understand the issues.

I have only had an opportunity to skim the report and a few discussion blogs to extract these nuggets so far, but this PDF looks like a definite addition to the new iPad for immersion reading on the train.  I like what I am seeing in the recommendations, a hint of potential alignment and strategy, and the glossary of organizations at the back will be a handy addition to any global response team or CSIRT.  The road ahead for the kind of brainstorming and coalition forming that this report beckons will be very challenging and fraught with contention as agendas are pushed forward and political posturing becomes evident, but koodos to the various participants for taking charge.  I hope in some way to help or contribute.  Good on ya!

Grab your copy here.