The still of cyberspace

The alert queue is empty, the estate is patched, the whirr of fans hums in the background. In marketing everyone wants to be excited and to talk about the next big thing. Whilst the physical and digital worlds move at breakneck speed, there’s sometimes the opportunity to be still, to have no incidents to respond to, to have no major changes. These times can be rare, but they are also needed.

Often when I look at and use cyber maturity frameworks there is a lot of focus on cyber capabilities rather than business capabilities that are cyber enabled. What do I mean by cyber enabled? Well, you see, the way I view this game is that much like the roads serve no purpose if they are not travelled, cyber security capabilities are similar. What organisations should be looking for in my view is cyber enablement of the business rather than security as a separate domain. Integrating customer experiences with technology in a secure manner and adding value are often areas I see people not focus on. It’s a similar story with service management, the focus can be on the activity rather than the business outcomes that are enabled by digital services.

Change management is a great example of this, I often see people and organisations use a change management process because “it’s the process” rather than because it helps them manage and control the environment. Sure, you can argue the process should be working to achieve that but for me so much about good technology and security management is about the mindset, the experiences and the habits.

I think because the robots are so abstracted and underneath there is a world of complexity that frankly probably scares most people. It’s like going into the quantum realm when you think about the electrons flying between the network cards, the switches and routers that make up our interconnected world. Each area is highly complex and well people just want it to “just work”.

The harsh truth is that often people’s digital systems don’t just work, they are often riddled with flaws, misconfigurations, issues that are only truly acknowledged when you peel back a few layers of abstraction.

In a fast-paced business world filled with constraints and technical debt it’s hard when you are firefighting to see the wood through the trees. It is however a downward spiral to not remember to stop, breathe and take stock.

So, the questions I have for you are so:

  • When is the last time you stopped and looked around your digital landscape with a clear head?
  • How are you going to help others change to move away from the status quo?

See change enablement and improvement are hard, but they are much harder if you never try!

We’ve just finished helping the community (the Hafnium saga), responding to a cyber incident and helping an organisation work through a challenge which has been troublesome for years.

I for one am enjoying a small measure of cyber peace, at least this morning. This breathe of fresh air shall not be wasted.

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