We live in an economy of distraction. In this era of fabricated intelligence, attention-sucking digital vampires, calculated buzzwords, over-optimization of every aspect of life, and the mindless echoing of information we call "news", there is little room for creative reflection and quiet pondering. If you cannot reflect, you cannot innovate, because your thoughts and actions will inevitably follow the path of least resistance. Inertia of the mind.
The endless spectacle of fleeting cyber threats captures your gaze, there is always a new shiny tool released every minute that helps bypass your defences, followed by another new tool that helps protect against the offensive tactics of the first one. There is always a new paradise promised in vendorland, and a new solution to old problems.
But who is asking what those problems are? Or whether we are even formulating the right ones? Which brave souls are out there connecting the dots?
The truth is, nobody wants to connect the dots, because it is a constant exercise in building fleeting structures out of water, that vanish as swiftly as they appear. Frankly, we are not trained to deal with complexity, we secretly relish in certainty: we like structures rather than scaffolds. Structures are more permanent. Scaffolds are temporary conditions that contribute to the accomplishment of a complex outcome. But scaffolding is a great way to produce structures. We neglect them though, because it's easier to cast away the perils of an uncertain world by trusting structured approaches that, despite their repeated shortcomings, they at least continue to deliver consistent failures. Don't get me wrong, I believe consistency is the key, but consistency in what? around what topics and in what way?
Venturing into the transient fluctuations of reality in the cybersphere is only for the daring. I invite you to join me on this journey to unknown lands where I will explore the possibility of building adaptive cyber defence practices that are fit to the problems of our new and evolving digital landscape.
Pardon me for the buzzwords, I know I am a victim -and perpetrator- of the same flaws I have just denounced! I say "cyber" a lot (and you will still hear me say that), I talk about "complexity" (like I know what it means) and I am surely letting whatever unconscious bias lives in me, filter through my thoughts and pour its nasty self-centered concoctions over these words. It is unavoidable.
But I don't consider these buzzwords anything other than (yes, you guessed it) scaffolds. They are useful as long as they allow me to step onto their shoulders and peak over the horizon, to understand what else is out there: what events of the cyber world we don't have words for, what approaches keep failing, and how to ask better questions, how to shape the right problems and stop failing at the wrong things.
If you want to join this Cyberscout and join a party of like-minded explorers, please subscribe, let's have some fun, gather around the fire, and share our stories.