As I grow older with teenage children, I find myself looking at aspects of life that have a negative bearing on security but not from the traditional thought. My current thoughts are on how security is affected in the world by the automation and religion.
Right I am thinking that information security, cyber security, or whatever you want to call it is being negatively affected by automation and religion. You are probably saying to yourself that it is obvious that automation affects security since it opens up additional avenues for penetration. Network accessibility on the factory floor allowing control from across the building to across the country. We have seen how power generation with SCADA is allowing centralized control of power plants via the Internet.
So we know that automation opens the attack fabric. What I now see is that with the open fabric and increase in population there is a greater danger. Western civilization is in the middle of a divide of the haves and have nots. The divide in income between the rich and middle class is growing fast while the divide between the middle and the poor is shrinking and not in a good way.
Now lets bring in the topic of religion. Most religions have the goal of precreation. The need to increase numbers is not just a human need but is seen in all aspects of life on Earth. The desire to increase ones genetic code is a hard-wired act. Religion just puts the words behind it with the force being that God wants you to do it or you are a bad person. The person of the cloth wants the flock to increase. Increased in the flock leads to more money and/or power (more likely and versus or).
The increase in population with increase in automation means that a greater portion of the population will have no hope of contributing to society. Rather they will increasingly become a greater burden. The service industry has no hope of absorbing this sub-set of the population. Maybe it will not be a sub-set but rather a super-set of the population. We are really speaking to the increase of the disenfranchised. An increase in those who are seeking something to give meaning to their lives such that they feel that they make a difference.
News reports are showing that radicals are being created from this population. How else would one explain the ability of such organizations as ISIS being able to recruit from Western society? Our political leaders seem astounded that young men and women are being drawn to these so-called fringe elements.
Going back to the automation side, there are a number of good aspects to automation. Quality of products is greater as well as providing products that are the same with minimal variations. Automation brings efficiencies that humans will never achieve. Automation reduces the number of humans needed to produce the same number of products. Automation can reduce the amount of physical theft though as stated earlier it increases the cyber avenues for breaches. Automation as also opened the door for a larger number to utilize and study computer science to further the automation trend.
Though it brings efficiencies it disenfranchises more and more which drains the hope for those individuals. What do you do for a population that cannot hope for something better? Increasingly the American dream is out of reach for those who need it most.
The problem is even worse if we think about feeding an increasing worldwide population. The number of farmers is decreasing as big agricultural entities move in to grow not just food but fuel for the energy starved industrial complex. We can’t blame the industrial complex. Their goal is to increase income and decrease cost. For industry humans are a large cost.
Historically, son would follow the father into a career field. This gave generations of factory workers or farmers. People knew the direction their lives would take. During the industrial age there was always the American dream with the house and a two-car garage.
Our religious leaders say be fruitful and multiply but they offer no solution to how to feed and direct the growing population. I realize the Bible states we should be fruitful and multiply but even Pope Francis has said that Catholics do not need to breed like rabbits.
Religion cannot ask this of people anymore. Our religious leaders need to come up with sound solutions to the problems that we face. It also cannot be a blind redistribution of wealth that will not solve the problem. It may lower the number of disenfranchised but not to a level that will relive the pressure of hopelessness.
Ok so how am I tying this into cyber security. The Internet gives power to those without. It levels the playing field a bit for corporations big and small and for countries that don’t have a large military to project. Those with no voice in the physical world can find that they have a megaphone on the net.
Recently the Danes announced that they would be putting in approximately $74 million for a cyber offensive capability: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/cyber/2015/01/08/denmark-cyber-hackers-china-terma/21448705/
The Danish military wants to get into the cyber warfare arena. I have always thought of the Danish as the other neutral guys but on the net any country can play with the big dogs.
This just leads me to the conclusion that with net access a tiny bit of skill to cover your tracks and the Metasploit framework anyone can be a cyber threat. With the disenfranchised growing the threat is growing.