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Former NSA and CIA Director Talks to MSPs about Cyberthreats

December 18, 2017

Former NSA and CIA Director Talks to MSPs about Cyberthreats

One of the most talked-about presentations at the 2016 Ingram Micro ONE event was General Michael Hayden’s candid insight on cyber security and the threat of cyberattacks. Hayden’s experience as the former director of the CIA and the NSA put him at the forefront of this hot issue.

One of the prevailing themes was the drastic changes that have taken place in global geopolitics, which Hayden says is tied directly to what we’re seeing with cyberattacks. He calls these changes a shift in tectonics. “Things that once seemed permanent are proving not to be,” he says. "Countries that once existed, like Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Socialist Republic, are no more. Also, Iraq is no more and won’t be coming back either.”

 Another tectonic shift is with countries he describes as “brittle, ambitious and unfortunately nuclear,” such as Russia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea. “Within the next five years, North Korea will be able to reach Seattle with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile,” he says. 

Hayden also talked about the important tectonic shift happening with world power and how the internet and advancements in technology are pushing that power to the perimeter, which makes small nation states and even non-state groups a threat.

 “The web is the largest ungoverned space in history,” he says. “We have not collectively decided what we will and won’t allow to keep our citizens safe. Thus, our government is late to the game and private sector is stepping in.”

 A Stunning Revelation About the Future of Personal Privacy in America
Personal privacy was another topic Hayden raised, citing the incident in which Apple was pressured by the government to create a security workaround to its phones. “We sided with Apple on this one,” he confessed. “America is a more secure place if the NSA doesn’t force Tim Cook to punch a hole in Apple’s security.”

Another interesting revelation was regarding how future privacy laws will be made. “When we finally get consensus later in this century, it will be more determined by where Mark Zuckerberg sets Facebook’s security settings than what the government decides,” he said.

 Hayden concluded his talk with some sound advice to managed services providers. “You can keep out 80 percent of threat actors at best. Focus on how to respond when something gets by your security defenses.”

He also advised IT solution providers to explore the growing field of cyberinsurance. “Insurance companies actually have the best approach—share the risk,” he says.