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Cyber Reflections

Cyber Reflections: Trick or Treat During Cybersecurity Month

By Maj. Gen. Paul Capasso USAF (Ret.) •  October 23, 2018
cybersecurity month


“As I was going up the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there.

He wasn’t there again today,

Oh, how I wish he’d go away!”


– Antigonish, by William Hughes Mearns


Nothing says Halloween quite like this verse from William Hughes Mearns’ poem “Antigonish.”  There is something eerie about a figure that is not physically present, and yet won’t leave you alone.

That same unsettled feeling can also be evoked by cyber threats.  It could be argued, then, that every day is Halloween in the cyber domain…

Each day cyber forces of ghouls and ghosts reside within the deep shadows of the Dark Web awaiting to conjure up a trick or two for the unexpected user.

Invisible spirits troll the web looking for vulnerabilities to strike fear in the hearts of the undead.

Black Hats go phishing for the unknowing, using cauldrons of worms and bugs filled to rim.

Mutant zombies look to unleash “Night of the Living Dead,” tricking users to go to corrupted web pages, leaving corpses in their wake.

The “headless” hacktivists plan DDoS attacks wearing “Guy Fawkes masks” to remain “Anonymous.”

It is Fin7, not the caretaker, who is “The Shining” example of active and malicious attacks on the cyber ecosystem.

Under the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, this month marks the 15th year of recognizing October as National Cyber Security Month. The theme of this year’s initiative is, “Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve our Nation’s cybersecurity.”  Key messages this year include:

  • Strengthen the Nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem
  • Cybersecurity is a cross-cutting, cross-sector challenge, so we must tackle it together
  • Increase and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce across all sectors
  • Secure critical infrastructure from cyber threats

This month is the time to reflect on how we can better secure our cyber surroundings.  If we can improve upon the key messages of this year’s cybersecurity month, we should be able to remove the “tricks” and increase the “treats” of the web by reducing the risks cyber threats pose to our global community.  Happy Halloween!


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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