Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

New thievery and old rivalries in cyberspace

leave a comment »

This year’s Davos is like a bad family reunion: Vladimir Putin told off Michael Dell, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan says he’s never coming back, and McAfee, Inc., brought the news that malware increased 400% in 2008 – resulting in an average intellectual property loss of $4.6 million per company, for a reported global loss of $1 trillion.

The most interesting finding from the survey behind McAfee’s data:  “Geopolitical perceptions have become a reality in information security policies.” Respondents – drawn from across the globe – cited China, Pakistan, and Russia as having the highest “threat levels” to “digital assets,” but the report perceptively notes that:

Perceptions among respondents may be rooted in both historical conflicts and modern economic, cultural and political differences. Responses can be sorted according to long-time tensions between China and Japan, India and Pakistan, the U.S. and Russia, the U.K. and Russia, as well as more modern conflict between China and Taiwan and China and the U.S. … For example, when asked to rate the threat level of various countries, 47 percent of Chinese respondents chose the U.S., followed by Taiwan (41 percent). Japanese respondents chose China (57 percent) followed by Russia (44 percent). Indian respondents overwhelmingly chose Pakistan (61 percent) as having the highest threat level. U.S.-based respondents chose China (62 percent) followed by Russia (59 percent). U.K.-based respondents selected Russia (74 percent) followed by Pakistan (68 percent) and China (66 percent).”

The data add to the argument that nationalism is prevailing over globalism in cyberspace, a trend likely to continue with recession and regulation. Absent a change in mood at Davos, the report’s call for an international cybersecurity convention seems like it’ll go unanswered in 2009.  One might expect what happens on the Internet – the exchange of information – to follow what happens in trade. Less of it, justified in nationalist terms and enforced by the technical equivalents of protectionism.

You can find the full McAfee report here (registration required).

Written by Mark

January 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: