Cyber Fundamentals: You Can’t Spell “Cybersecurity” Without “IG”

Cyber Risk Management Chronicles, Episode VIII

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Image: Lockhaven logo

All too often, organizations forget that cybersecurity is not a technology, it is a strategy. Throughout the industry we see reliance placed on technical solutions without much thought given to fundamentals and risk-based decisioning. This is a recipe for failure.

Perhaps the most widespread mistake we see is the failure to understand how essential a role information governance (IG) plays in cybersecurity. 

Simply put, IG is an organization’s technologies, policies, processes, controls, and strategies to optimize information to meet its business needs, as well as legal and industry regulations, while minimizing risks. 

The beauty of getting rid of ROT- beyond significant saving that accrues in reduction of data your company holds- is that it greatly reduces your threat surface. The less data for bad actors to attack obviously means the less data you must defend. 

Dr. Jack Dever & James Dever, Esq. Lockhaven Solutions

A pillar of IG is to know your data- what you have, what form it is in, where it resides, how it is used, and how it is destroyed. The reality of most organization is that over 50% (and in some cases 80%!) of their data is composed of redundant, obsolete, and trivial data (ROT). 

Get Rid of ROT!

The beauty of getting rid of ROT- beyond significant saving that accrues in reduction of data your company holds- is that it greatly reduces your threat surface. The less data for bad actors to attack obviously means the less data you must defend. 

Know Your Data! 

Given the reality of limited budgets, cybersecurity programs cannot defend everything. Therefore, organizations must prioritize where to spend and what to defend. If an organization knows their data well, and the importance thereof, they can make risk-based decisions on how to defend it- spend less and defend better.

Bottom Line: effective IG leads to stronger cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is more manageable, and thus more effective, when IG provides a clear understanding of your organization’s data- and gets rid of ROT as a regular part of data management. 

Authors

  • Dr. Jack Dever J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.

    Dr. Jack Dever J.D., LL.M., S.J.D. is the CEO of Lockhaven Solutions. Jack served as FBI Assistant General Counsel. In this role he advised on cyber operations against nation state actors and global Tier 1 operations against Al Qaeda and affiliate organizations. He was an Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). In this capacity he worked on a wide array of cases, including foreign cyber espionage and data exfiltration. Jack served on active duty in the US Army as a Judge Advocate. He deployed multiple times to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and the Horn of Africa. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals. After leaving government service, Jack was an Executive at General Electric where he served as Global Crisis Management Leader. In this role, he developed the Business Intelligence Unit which investigated cyber fraud and financial crime. Jack went on to several enterprise risk leadership roles at several of the world’s largest banks, including GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and UBS. Jack holds a doctorate in Cyber Law. He has lectured extensively at universities, law schools and private institutions. He is Co-Director at the Center for National Security and Human Rights Law in Chicago and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on Cyber Law, Banking Law, and National Security Law. He remains active in support of Disabled Veterans and underserved communities.

  • James Álvaro Dever, Esq.

    James Álvaro Dever, Esq.is a Principal at Lockhaven Solutions. James was a US Air Force Professor of Cyber Warfare. He taught Cyber Law, Intelligence Law, National Security Law, Privacy Law, and Space Law at the Air War College (AWC), Air Force Cyber College (AFCC), Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School (JAG School), Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), and Air Force Research Lab Information Directorate (AFRL), the nation’s premier research organization for Computers and Intelligence. In partnership with AFCC and National Security Agency (NSA) Cryptologic School colleagues, he designed new graduate degree programs in Cyber Strategy for senior military officers and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians. He has provided cyber education to senior government officials and private sector leaders from South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. He served as a US Army Judge Advocate. He was the Cyber Warfare Judge Advocate at Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) where he provided real-time legal advice on worldwide cyber offensive, cyber defensive, and DoD information network missions. He was Chair of the Law Department at the US Army Intelligence School. He taught Cyber Law, Intelligence Law, and National Security Law to DoD military personnel and civilians. He taught Advanced Source Operations at the HUMINT Training Joint Center of Excellence (HTJCOE), served as a Cyber Law Judge Advocate at the US Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), and was a Cyber Law liaison to the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). Prior to the Army, he worked at Deloitte Cyber Risk Services. At Deloitte, he partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and helped create the Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and Privacy Engineering programs. He facilitated cybersecurity risk management for Fortune 100 companies. He has published peer-reviewed law articles and book chapters on Cyber Law, Privacy Law, and National Security Law. He has lectured about enterprise cyber risk management at diverse venues including the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, the American Bar Association, NYU School of Law, the US Air Force Academy, and NATO Allied Command. He has taught extensively at universities and law schools. He is Advisory Director at the Center for National Security and Human Rights Law in Chicago and Co-Director, Cyber Risk Management for Executives Program. He is on the Board of Directors at the Journal of Law & Cyber Warfare.

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