June 9, 2021

Solving The Global Cyber Problem w/ Ian Thorton-Trump

by Cyber Ranch

Show Notes

With us today is Ian Thornton-Trump, Chief Information Security Officer at Cyjax and an ITIL-certified IT professional with 25 years of experience in IT security and information technology. Ian shares his background which started back in the Canadian military. During those times, "IT" was called "automated data processing", and it is quite clear how far this has advanced. He joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and spent a year working on criminal intelligence. Soon after he became a consultant and made his way to the UK in 2015. Oftentimes organizations have not planned or prepared for risk, and that includes cyber. In that sense, cyber can be compared to the environmental landscapes and infrastructure, which Ian finds eerily similar. A lot of problems created in cyber mimic a lot of the environment problems we face in today’s world. One example is the recent failure of the Texas power grid during a very harsh winter. Investment in cybersecurity is critical. Allan feels there are a lot of environmental laws, but there are also already some pretty strict cyber laws as well. However, they seem more aimed at the anonymous or extrajurisdictional perpetrators and end up useless when their anonymity is involved. And some cyber laws seem to punish the victim as well - after suffering ransomware you are now penalized for not being prepared for it in the first place? How can we get laws in place that are helping the situation and not blaming the victim? Ian suggest that positive incentives are the answer. If we can just get companies to do a bare minimum cyber hygiene, by incentivizing them through tax breaks, Ian thinks we could move the ball up more forward, without making it too onerous, to meet some sort of regulatory standard. How do we possibly extend our stretch? Because at the end of the day, the root cause is the “bad guys”, so how do we get to them? America is already doing a lot, but other countries need to put their money where their mouth is. Ian and Allan discuss President Biden's Executive Order on Cybersecurity. This can enforce behavior in the government, but only suggest behavior in the private sector. To sum up, we're nowhere, and we need to get somewhere because what we've done, at the federal and state level in the United States, is taken a lot of dollars, put them in parking lots, and set fire to them. And then after we finished that exercise, we asked for more dollars. We have to change the entire system from the ground up. And we have to incentivize cyber security. Key Takeaways 1:10 How Ian got into Cyber 2:21 Ian’s day job 4:18 Issues with infrastructure and environment 7:38 Meaningful laws 12:47 Getting to the bad guys 16:35 Catching “Fred Smith” or someone like him 17:43 Rewards 21:17 Preparedness and helplessness 23:43 Einstein program 26:24 What keeps Ian going Links: Learn more about Ian Thorton-Trump on LinkedIn and Twitter Follow Allan Alford on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Hacker Valley Studio and The Cyber Ranch Podcast Sponsored by our good friends at Axonius