Information Warfare: Why Government Networks Are So Poorly Protected


August 1, 2014: Despite the growing threat of attacks, and thefts via the Internet, corporate and government Internet security managers are reluctant to confront the reality of how difficult it is to hire the most competent Internet security experts. The problem is that many of the most capable Internet security people are self-taught or the product of informal training programs. These experts rarely have college degrees and sometimes have a police record (for hacking, drugs, or other offenses). The lack of a college degree often keeps many good people out of corporate and government jobs while any hint of past legal problems will prevent you from getting a security clearance (essential for many government Internet security jobs). It is worse when you realize that most of those people with proper credentials, like a college degree in network security are the product of college-level courses taught by people who know little about the nuts and bolts of hacking or protecting networks from attacks. Those who do know about such things and are willing and able to keep their skills current in a rapidly changing field prefer to make big money working for Internet security firms or criminal organizations that pay a lot better and are not concerned about people who are self-taught and have shady backgrounds.

These self-taught slightly dirty Internet security aces do not go without work. Some firms, mainly smaller ones, do hire the “irregulars” and then send them out to work as consultants for corporations or the government. For those few who can get a security clearance there is regular highly paid work as security consultants for government and military organizations. Otherwise the uncredentialed can only get short term government assignments (when bureaucrats are desperate enough to ignore the insufficient credentials in order to get a large mess fixed). The much higher cost of consultants, and the requirement of a security clearance for military and many government jobs, means that a lot of the best people simply cannot work on government projects. That’s one reason commercial organizations have much better security. A related reason is that commercial firms can pay for much more competent managers, who are quicker to spot Internet security problems and implement effective solutions.



Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close