Mischel Kwon, President, Mischel Kwon Associates

The insider threat will be more in focus in 2015, according to many of the cyber experts we talked to for this year's Top 3 for 2015. But the insider threat isn...

The insider threat will be more in focus in 2015, according to many of the cyber experts we talked to for this year’s Top 3 for 2015. But the insider threat isn’t always someone — or some people — intentionally doing bad things to hurt your organization. Mischel Kwon is president of Mischel Kwon Associates, and former director of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team at the Department of Homeland Security. She shared her Top 3 for 2015 on In Depth with Francis Rose. Mischel says “nerd wars” are the fastest growing form of insider threat.

Mischel Kwon’s Top 3 for 2015

  1. Nerd wars are the fastest growing form of cyber adversaries: Companies struggle with the best way to build, secure and monitor networks and systems. They struggle even more with detecting, analyzing and then reporting events and incidents. They struggle because the nerd wars know how to do it, who does it the best, what products work the best and what management needs to know, and it inhibits the real work that needs to be done. In the end, most of this work happens in a very unmanageable and unmeasured way in fear of confronting or losing the nerds or the nerd wars. Internal wars take up time and money, and they’re distracting.
  2. The largest amount of cyber damage comes from hype, press and politics: Most stories today about incidents are based on poor information. The information is either leaked, hearsay or very carefully crafted. Repetitious damage is one of the most harmful repercussions of a cyber attack, with the least amount of defense available.
  3. Well-managed security programs will survive: The key to a successful security program is good communication and escalation with the executives of the company. Understanding how the money is spent and securing the business, detecting harm and measuring risk is the key to a well run security program — not the sexiest tools or the highest priced analysts — but a well-managed program that can articulate what is happening, how it is happening, how to fix it and what the risk to the business is.

In our special radio report, Top 3 for 2015, federal experts tell In Depth host Francis Rose what top three concepts, trends or priorities they believe will be important in 2015.

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