In this ongoing series of blogs, we have compared digital “diseases” of cybersecurity issues to biological diseases. In previous weeks I have discussed how we can and should consider detection, diagnosis, prescribing treatments, executing treatments, and creating agencies to manage such digital diseases and treatments

We do not have anything that mimics such activities in the digital world, so we are left with snowballing digital cybersecurity issues. Does this sound familiar? It should, as it is analogous to the trail of problems left behind by many of the other industries in the previous century. 

Some parties do more than others to try to address cybersecurity issues. There is not enough consistency, though. The net effect creates financial and resources burdens for some while freeing up others to continue polluting the digital environment over time with unresolved cybersecurity issues. 

In the early days of the industrial revolution, factories cranked out products while polluting the environment. History lesson aside, suffice to say that as the world of manufacturing grew, so did the pollution problems. The pollution grew to the point where it was dangerous to wade in the water or breathe the air. Do you know the story about the Cuyahoga river that caught fire? In truth, that river caught fire 13 times over the years, but eventually, it did spark the environmental movement.

Does this sound familiar?

Now we live in a world where cybersecurity issues that have remained unaddressed can and do lead to a lot of digital pollution and even to the level where the problems can cause physical harm to the people. The biological pollution eventually led to the creation of rules and regulations on a global level to help control these pollution issues, culminating with the creation of the EPA and OSHA in the USA, for example. Such agencies are given broad regulatory rights to control pollution and workplace safety.  

Now, I want to ask if it may be time to consider this in the world of digital cybersecurity.  Let’s think about this and discuss it further in our next episode.