Sun Tzu's 13 lessons to combat hackers

Staff Writer on
Sun Tzu's 13 lessons to combat hackers

AISA national director Keith Price rewrites the art of (cyber) war.

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In January, it was discovered that more than 75,000 computer systems in 2500 companies around the world were hacked in one of the largest and most sophisticated attacks by cyber criminals.

And a month later we saw the Australian Parliament website shuttered by hackers protesting the Federal Government's ISP internet filter.

A company's digital presence can be attacked for social and political reasons ("hactivism"), for extortion, espionage and digital graffiti.

To defend ourselves against cyber assaults, we look to military doctrine because much in information security stems from concepts such as need to know, least privilege, defence in depth, diversity of defence, choke point and other war strategies.

When considering the topic I thought of Sun Tzu's Art of War, the 2500-year-old Chinese military treatise. It teaches that success depends on timely information, preparation, organisation, communication, motivation, execution and leadership. General Sun Tzu said wars were won by those who have the greatest competitive advantages and who make the fewest mistakes.

Start your journey through 13 principles from The Art of War applied to cyber warfare by clicking over the page to the first lesson, defending your virtual shop front or dip in at any point using the drop-down index below.

About the writer

Keith Price is the national director of the Australian information Security Association. He started his career more than 20 years ago and he now specialises in ICT risk management, strategy and governance. His experience spans consulting, banking, insurance and utilities in Australia, Britain and the US.

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