Governance & Risk Management , IT Risk Management

Managing Cyber Risk in a Technology-Dependent World

Fred Cohen on Cyber's Positive Impact, the Future's Distributed Information Society
Managing Cyber Risk in a Technology-Dependent World
Fred Cohen, CEO, Management Analytics

Complexity is the enemy of security, and cyber technology grows more complex every day. Have we created a problem space in computing so complicated that we will forever be unable to safely operate in it for its intended purposes? Fred Cohen, CEO of Management Analytics, says that's unlikely.

Cohen admits, however, that information technologists often pile "crap on crap," and adds, "If you pile enough crap on enough crap, eventually it all falls down." But there is a replacement cycle, he says. And overall, "things have gotten better for humanity" because of the progress made in "information technology and, increasingly, cybernetic technology-communication, sensors, actuators and control."

In this episode of "Cybersecurity Unplugged," Cohen discusses:

  • The need to manage complexity in order to keep it reasonably safe, especially in light of our ever-increasing dependence on information technology;
  • His definition of risk and the "model-based situation, anticipation and constraint" we use to try to manage it;
  • Why zero trust is a misnomer that "would destroy our ability to do anything" and should be replaced by the term "managed trust."

Cohen leads Management Analytics, an assessment and planning advisory services litigation support, angel investment company with a long pedigree in cybersecurity. He coined the term "computer virus" and wrote the first computer virus program in November 1983. Cohen led the team that defined the information assurance program as it relates to critical infrastructure protection. He has done seminal research in the use of deception for information protection, and the protection techniques he pioneered help defend more than three-quarters of all the computers in the world, including the actual core technologies used in antivirus mechanisms and other trusted platform modules. Cohen is a leader in advancing the science of digital forensic evidence examination and has been an information protection consultant and industry analyst for many years.

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