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Wikileaks: an insider perspective | Part 3

August 23, 2011

On balance, Wikileaks was a positive thing

With the benefit of hindsight, it could be argued that Wikileaks has been a positive thing for Government security – it didn’t feel that way while it was still in full swing, but the response from the Federal information security community has been first class.

Before I explain why and how, let us not forget the acquisition community and through no fault of its’ own, the archaic processes levied on it by lawmakers!  “Cyber Security can be a program of record!   We can have this on the street as an RFI in six months.  If all goes well we can begin fielding this in less than two years unless there are protests!”

The landscape has evolved much more quickly than that – as, to their credit, have Federal security professionals.  A fundamental review of information security systems, processes and technologies has taken place since Wikileaks.  General Keith Alexander, Commander U.S. Cyber Command summed up the shortcomings when he said, “We need real-time situational awareness in our networks to see where something bad is happening and to take action there at that time.” You can’t always stop bad things from happening, but with the right information you can see them happening and take action to repel them and limit the damage done. Federal systems, technologies and processes are currently undergoing a massive rethink to give information security professionals the situational awareness they need to limit the damage of the next Wikileaks – because everybody is aware there WILL be another one!

In the fourth and final part of this post I’ll explain what the key lessons and takeaways from Wikileaks have been for the Federal community.

Read Part 4 here

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