"Innovation is CREATIVITY that ships" (Steve Jobs). Not a PowerPoint slidedeck.

Below is a Pixar pitch of the cybersecurity challenge:

Once upon a time anonymous adversaries exploited the rich interconnectivity provided by cyberspace and wreaked havoc on the global interconnected finacial system. Everyday they were able to penetrate systems with weaker defenses, deface home pages, disrupt supply chains, stealing private and sensitive data and causing chaos and economic harm. Many nations struggled to work together due to the prevailing atmosphere of mistrust, eroding partnerships and preferred to play the zero-sum game. A powerful guiding coalition of businesses and nations made a shared commitment to work together to tackle the cybersecurity challenge head-on. One day, after an arduous Hero’s Journey that stood the test of time, everything had transformed. Every business and nation had organically learned how to anticipate and prevent cyberattacks, limit cyberattacks and recover to trusted states. Because of that immersion, everybody experienced a value shift and learned the ABCs of building and nurturing trust and the art of building a resilient cyber ecosystem. Until finally, everyone finally realized that the power of two is the recipe for financial and social stability in a volatile, uncertain, chaotic and uncertain environment.

Anonymous computer hackers have been recently targeting several technology companies such as Foxconn, among others, and wreaked havoc in the global financial system. The 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report analyzes more than 47,000 reported security incidents and 621 confirmed data breaches from the past year. In addition, according to Werbach, “every mobile app is a potential security risk.”

We have to work together to solve this wicked problem which sometimes gets warped in a state of confrontation. A solution has a technical side and a social side. The best minds are actively working on this problem globally on the technical side. We need to build greater traction and sustain momentum on the social side by understanding the cybersecurity challenge via dialogue-knitting conversations.

“We estimate that the overall damage to the Chinese economy exceeded Rmb5.36bn, affecting 110.8m Chinese users and 1.1m websites in 2011” due to cybersecurity breaches and cyberespionage.
(paper published by Gu Lion, Zhuge Jianwei, Duan Haixin, 2012)
cited in Financial Times, May 20, 2013


meaning of redlines



political considerations

risk disclosure

Although the world is flat, today we live in a world of differences, as illustrated by BRICS (*), where people need to inculcate a new way of thinking in order for a firm to create a strategic identity, a community of shared values, and trust-based relationships with employees, customers, community, and investors. ( * BRICS :: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and other countries)

“It is strange that many people perceive the rise of China and India only as a threat. The idea that these countries’ ascent is a zero-sum game — it can occur only at everyone’s expense — defies economic logic.”
Tarun Khanna. China + India: The Power of Two. Harvard Business Review, Dec 2007.

The key takeaway from the “power of two” example is that during every interaction, while there is one opportunity for success (win/win), there are three opportunities for failure (win/lose, lose/lose, lose/win). The broader challenge to achieve win/win outcomes scales in complexity when there is an n-party interaction (think BRICS). If achieving win/win were viewed as corporate center profitability, then 1.5 + 1.5 = 3 because the individual business units is outperforming (1.5 vs 1) in their markets that have a walled garden of cybersecurity-proofing with a grounded philosophy that “ethics pays.”

The value creation premise that “ethics pays” is an “ethic-onomic” yardstick that calls for a rich repertoire of reasoning skills that can be harnessed through improvisation, dialogue and deliberation with actors who may have had a history of tense relationships, misunderstandings and “sticking points”. The resilience to tackle of the challenges of cybersecurity requires a shared, long-term commitment and coup d’oeil to navigate the “Hero’s Journey” where ethics and economics are intertwined in a dynamic dance to spark a new level of consciousness, revise out-of-date mental maps and nurture trust. Sustaining resilience means overcoming active inertia of self-delusions (“we don’t need cybersecurity”), avoiding the trap of playing the blame game or deflecting naysayers (“it’s beyond our authority to manage the cybersecurity challenge”).

Building a resilient cybersecure ecosystem is an art and science and there is no silver bullet. In concert with software developers, we need to assemble an orchestra of talent from diverse fields to tackle the cybersecurity security challenge that grows in complexity everyday. Viewed through my crystal ball, I envision the traditional role of FTE to morph as a three-legged stool — Fraud Prevention, Turnaround Management, and Entrepreneurship. This FTE will maintain an excruciating mission focus in:

  • Serving as an on demand, tactical resource in assisting businesses implement cybersecurity measures and a software assurance infrastructure
  • Assisting businesses in defining and achieving operational excellence
  • Actively contributing in the co-creation of a world of purpose called S@SFO (Sustainability using Art and Therapy (@) for achieving Solution Focused Outcomes)

S@SFO resonates with Silicon Valley innovation and, using the cybersecurity challenge as a powerful frame of reference, we can seize this not-to-miss opportunity to incorporate this mindset and solve an array of economic and social challenges (“wicked problems”) akin to Palantir.


(This is a living blog in progress.)

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