'Art of War' helps thwart cybercrime

The art of war, and the art of information security, are closely aligned, claims a new book ‘Assessing Information Security: Strategies, Tactics, Logic and Framework’ that applies the principles of Sun Tzu’s classic text to online threat combat.

Technical skills and procedural knowledge are not enough, the book’s authors argue; these qualities need to be ‘deployed strategically to control the cybercrime battlefield’.

Dr Andrew Vladimirov, Konstantin Gavrilenko, and Andriej Michajlowski, demonstrate that businesses need clear objectives and strategies, just like a military campaign, to implement information security effectively: ‘ Self-defence is important; you must assess your position thoroughly and have the proper safeguards in place to protect your business information,’ they say, ‘But you must also be able to fight back; the genuine threat of prosecution can be a very effective deterrent against embittered or corrupt employees, for example, who might otherwise see your company’s data as a “soft target”.’

“An information security professional is engaged in a form of continuous warfare which, by its very nature, is defensive,” says IT governance chief executive Alan Calder. “Even when discussing the cutting-edge technologies of 2010, and technologies yet to emerge, the ancient wisdom of Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ has a role to play. Business is an intensely competitive environment, which is why executives enjoy the insights of expert military strategists, such as Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz [the early 19th-century Prussian soldier and author of On War]. Andrew, Konstantin and Andriej apply the work of these men to the operations of a 21st-century company.”

‘Assessing Information Security: Strategies, Tactics, Logic and Framework’ (ISBN: 9781849280358) is available in softcover and e-book format.

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