The politicalisation of cyber!

Have you noticed the moment a topic becomes political, it loses all of its momentum and with it, the capability to improve the environment that the topic focuses on.

It becomes a talk fest, where points are scored and tallies are kept.

Where capabilities are lost on a decision made by someone with limited knowledge on the subject.

In Australia, in the last couple of years, we have had Gonsky and NDIS and both, although good ideas, have become mired in the bull that surrounds the political system.

Security Protection Lock Network Firewall Concept CyberPoliticians put career bureaucrats, public servants, in control of areas where they have limited or no knowledge of the issues and problems.


Sucking the passion and focus out of the area and changing it into another sink hole for political and financial point scoring.

Cyber, whether it is bullying, security, crime, war, terrorism or any other thing that can create political capital in today’s sound bite world, has become one of those topics.

We live in today’s digital world more that we live in the real world. Our socializing, our news, our friends, our work, our secrets – our whole lives have a significant component that is made up of bits and bytes.

The moment a politician and the media thinks that they can gain political capital on a topic then that topic is doomed. The biggest wins we see in today’s world is where politics and government bureaucracy are not involved in the decision making process.

The problem is that in the digital (cyber) world a lack of focus, a dumbing down of the reasoning and the chance to gain political capital, will and is, having detrimental effects on anyone who is focused on the job at hand – making sure that everyone and every organisation is on top of the issues.

Practicing security by obscurity has not worked for the last 5 years and the Dyn DNS attack in November 2016 shows how ineffective that strategy is.

We need to remove the people who think they know the issues and problems and replace them with people who actually do know them. This will ensure that the focus of protecting Australia, business and our population from cyber attacks is actually going to be in the best interest of Australia, not the political party that thinks it is scoring points.

I am not saying that the large software and hardware organisations need to be held in check, yes they do. They need stringent compliance. They need management and control to ensure the capital and commercial worlds are balanced with the rest of today’s requirements.


Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity), Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, Presenter for the Business Security Intensive, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

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