There's a phrase you hear a lot in this industry – FUD. It stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt and is commonly used to sell you security products or policies.
It's less common than it used to be, thank goodness, but as Lord Toby Harris started to speak I felt my heart sink. He was soon spouting the kind of rubbish that would get anyone outside government publicly ridiculed at an event like InfoSec. Here's a quick taste.
“Britain is four meals away from anarchy” – but then again so is every advanced society.
“Over 100 countries have cyber attack facilities” – I should imagine every country has someone who could write a computer virus, but it doesn’t make them liable to declare war.
“Captured computers show that Al Qaeda are technically competent” – the lack of detail on this one makes me highly sceptical. What exactly is technically competent? The ability to open PDFs or deal with a Microsoft operating system for more than one day without punching the screen?
Overhyped rubbish like this masked some fundamentally sound ideas on improvements to the NICSS system, and his scare stories were actively turning listeners off as he spoke. We’ve all heard FUD before; it's solutions most people are after.
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