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“Now You See Me, Now You Don’t”: A Boxer’s Strategy for Cybersecurity

By Maj. Gen. Paul Capasso USAF (Ret.) •  February 18, 2020

Muhammad Ali provides us insight into how we can go the distance in combatting cyber threats.

Just as the internet empowers society to better the lives of all, the internet also emboldens others to threaten and disrupt all that is good. Despite the billions of dollars spent annually on cybersecurity, the number of breaches and attacks have not decreased. In fact, they have increased. If Butch Cassidy and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang were alive today, they would have a heyday.

The advancement of cyber weaponry has come a long way from the earliest computer worm which introduced the first denial of service (DDOS) attack on the internet. Today, the asymmetric nature of threats means attackers only need to find one weakness to violate the sanctity of the internet, while defenders, on the other hand, must guard against them all—an impossible task.

Today, organizations use a large number of cyber capabilities that are not integrated together. Additionally, these individually purchased cyber capabilities are often not fully understood and therefore are not used to their fullest potential. This not only adds complexity within the cyber operating environment, but it also increases training time and costs, as well as the undue risk of vulnerability gaps.

Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer in the world, provides us insight into how we might develop a successful strategy in combatting cyber threats:

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

Computer-driven technologies and their interconnected architecture provide the means, target and weapon that forms the cyber vortex by which an attack is prosecuted. Because cyberattacks occur at a click of a keyboard, time is of the essence to detect, analyze, and thwart an attack.

Applying Muhammad Ali’s “now you see me, now you don’t” strategy to cyberspace operations suggests  hat users, by operating in a stealth mode, can carry out one’s mission without being seen or discovered. Far-fetched? Not really, as capabilities exist to operate freely on and through cyberspace. The key is to bring integrated capabilities together to allow operations to occur in a trusted, secure, useable, efficient and effective manner.

Telos Ghost does just that – it brings together a myriad of capabilities such as network obfuscation, multi-layered encryption, managed attribution, cloaked services, diverse network pathways and dynamic IP routing into one secure package. This package allows users to hide critical network infrastructure, reduce attack surfaces and operate undetected on the network.

It’s safe to say that the internet’s age of innocence is over as the sophistication, frequency and lethality of cyberattacks continue to grow. Albert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Combating cyber threats is a battle of intellectual warfare. In the words of Jeff Bezos, “you never want a fair fight… a fair fight is bad strategy.”

There will never be a silver bullet that will rid the world of cyber disaccord. But Telos Ghost brings you one step closer. After all, you can’t exploit what you can’t see.

Learn more about Telos Ghost here: www.telos.com/telos-ghost.

Maj. Gen. Paul Capasso USAF (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Paul Capasso USAF (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Paul Capasso (Ret.) is the vice president of strategic programs at Telos Corporation. See full bio...

The Empower and Protect Blog brings you cybersecurity and information technology insights from top industry experts at Telos.

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