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13th Annual AusCERT Information Security Conference: 12th - 16th May 2014

Marcus Sachs, Verizon

Marcus Sachs is Verizon's Vice President for National Security Policy and serves on the Executive Committee of the US Communications Sector Coordinating Council.  He was a member of the CSIS Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency, has testified before the US Congress, and from 2003 to 2010 volunteered as the Director of the SANS Internet Storm Center.  He had a distinguished, 20-year military career in the United States Army including serving as one of ten original members of the Defense Department's Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense where he was responsible for investigating and preparing strategies to counter several high-profile computer network incidents. Following his retirement from the military, he was appointed by the President in 2002 to serve in the White House Office of Cyberspace Security, where he proposed the creation of the United States Computer Emergency Response Team.  He holds degrees in Civil Engineering, Computer Science, and Science and Technology Commercialization, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy.  He authored and teaches a course in Critical Infrastructure Protection at the SANS Institute and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Changing the Rules

A professional gambler knows that averaged over enough time and with lots of players the House eventually wins.  Why?  Because the rules established for game play will always financially favor the House.  They have to – otherwise the House goes broke and closes.  Individuals can certainly cheat, and any Gambler will have personal winning streaks.  But in a House versus lots of Gamblers scenario the House will ultimately prevail. 

So what does that have to do with the Internet?  Well, it seems that there are certain rules established decades ago that ensured that the “House” would always win in a scenario of academia and their research networks versus natural and human threats.  Today, many years later, the players in this game are very different while the rules remain essentially the same.  The “House” provides a virtual shelter from the weather along with a wonderful venue for gaming, but the dealers at the tables are no longer employees of the House and the Gamblers are no longer random visitors walking in off the sidewalk.  The House is about to go broke.

See where this is taking us?  Time to change the rules.  And that’s what we are going to talk about.