It’s a Problem of Scale!

Posted April 30th, 2008 by

Maybe I’ve been working on slide decks for too long.  That’s why I haven’t been blogging much over the past week:  when you spend 8 hours a day revising and formatting slides, your brain turns to jello.

Then suddenly on Tuesday, it hit me:  the Government’s problem with security is one of scale.  And at this point you all go “Duh, where have you been for the past 200 years?”  And yes, it’s not a problem exclusive to security, it goes hand-in-hand with personnel management, financial management, $foo management, and $bar management

It's all a problem of SCALE!

Large-Scale Scaley Carp Photo by radcarper

Now the scale in itself isn’t really the problem, it’s that we don’t have information security models that scale to that level.  And what I mean by that is that each agency is pretty much their own enterprise.  The entire executive branch is one huge federation of independent enterprises (and some of the enterprises are federated, but we’ll ignore that for the time being).  Most of our existing thoughts on information security management are focused on the enterprise, and the only hope to use them is to manage each enterprise separately.

Really, folks, we don’t have information security models that scale up as massively as we need to, and what we’ve been doing is borrowing from other fields, most notably Federal law and public accounting.  Unfortunately for us, these are models based on compliance, not risk management.  Even then, I don’t see the compliance angle going away anytime soon.

Now this is the really big problem:  everybody has some kind of criticism about how the Government runs their information security.  But I don’t see anybody with a viable alternative, nor do I expect to see one because the only people with problems on this scale are large governments.

Similar Posts:

Posted in FISMA, Rants | No Comments »

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Visitor Geolocationing Widget: