Monday, December 27, 2010

How about a "Get Out of Jail Free" card?

Interesting that some politicians who have been well and truly paid off by special interest groups would introduce a bill (the Cybersecurity Act of 2009) with a provision for "mandatory licensing of cyber security professionals." Boy, there's nothing like hiring a guy with a government-issued certificate to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. It gives me the same feeling of well-being as going to get my hair cut by someone certified by my state cosmetology board. Don't get me wrong. I understand that "the fix" is in—for everyone from organized labor to beltway bandits to higher education to non-profit (wink, wink) organizations with highly paid bureaucrats at their head—to keep cyber space safe for the world. As recently as August 28th of this year, Information Week carried a puff piece for a bunch of self-proclaimed certification authorities. Boy, look at how fast Silicon Valley snapped up computer whizzes who had their treasured CDPs (Certificates of Data Processing). After all, how else can a corporate customer be assured his vendor is properly trained? Huh? How else?

I suggest that an enterprising group of future Cyber Privateers could fund early development of The Perfect Virus by running their "Get Out of Jail Free" verbiage in a clip-out ad (also accessible from their Website). They could say something to the effect, 
"We'll show you how badly you need us. Have an authorized representative sign our get-out-of-jail-free card, and within 24 hours you'll be peeling your CFO's scalp off the ceiling. And you'd better tell your management committee to bring in some clean undergarments, because they're going to need them."
Back in 2000, my friend Adam Joseph was president of ICSA, and I proposed he run the following ad in Time Magazine. His board of directors vetoed the ad. Too bad. I believe ICSA could have been the premier hot-shot security firm on the planet if they'd complied with my motto: "God Hates Cowards." Selah.

By the way, who would you hire as a security consultant? Some bozo with a government-authorized certificate, or an NYSE-listed company that (heh, heh)  ran an ad like the one above?

I once went into an Oracle ad meeting with Larry Ellison. He'd just finished interviewing a Computer Science PhD for a job on his development team, and couldn't contain his amusement at the fellow. Larry had asked him about a co-worker Oracle was also interviewing, and the candidate said in total seriousnes, "Oh, doesn't he just have his Masters degree?" Larry didn't give the PhD a second interview.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?