Vanishing Point

Are You Certain You’re Prepared for Unpredictable Threat?

Posted by Gregory Weber

September 28, 2016 at 11:53 AM

Terms like globalized, interconnected, and hyper-empowered are so trumpeted across the infinite 24-hour news hour cycle and media barrage that they have become part of the din – rather than the call to action that they should compel. But, at their core, what has spawned from them?


Hyper-connectivity, globalization, and massive volumes of information that are available (and accessible) have created and connected markets, people, and ideas. This growing network has generated incredible opportunities for people, organizations, and nations to collaborate and extend their influence. But it also has generated all kinds of new vulnerabilities. And only a small minority of our thought leaders and influencers is actively considering how to balance the two.

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Bio-Digital Convergence: The Human as Critical Infrastructure?

Posted by Aaron Schulman

September 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Are humans the next critical infrastructure sector?


Currently, humanity is being augmented or networked by somewhere around 14 billion connected devices and that number is increasing at an accelerating rate. The rate of growth implies a growing comfort with networked, wearable, and implanted devices – and our connectivity with them.


Over the past decade, our work has exposed us to some amazing human-integrated technology advances across a number of industries. We’ve seen need and a desire for longer, healthier lives driving many of the bio-digital developments that evolved quickly from bleeding-edge innovation to ubiquitous use. Implantable Internet of Things (IoT) devices like pacemakers, defibrillators, and insulin pumps are perfect examples – each external, electronic device has the potential to supplement or repair a deficiency that would otherwise shorten or even end someone’s life.

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How Flash Mobs and Unions Reveal the Future of Consumer Rights

Posted by Phil Cunningham

September 7, 2016 at 10:05 AM

The 1973 story “Flash Crowd” describes an event in a future world in which an argument in a public location swells into a small riot. The news reports the event, spawning a social disruption that grows and intensifies with incredible speed.


In the 43 years hence, Flash Crowds – now known as Flash Mobs – have taken various forms. In 2003, 130 people gathered at a Manhattan Macy’s, wanting to buy a rug for the warehouse where they claimed to live together. This was followed by a group of 200 people breaking into 15 seconds of ‘spontaneous’ applause in a hotel. Flash Mobs have evolved into pranks, artworks, and even political movements (e.g., the Arab Spring uprising).

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Is Water the World’s Greatest Security Risk?

Posted by Deb Westphal

August 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Hyperconnectivity, the broadening and strengthening network that is rapidly encompassing every human on the planet, has been a driving force of globalization. This spread has played a necessary role in linking machines, objects and people, enabling greater levels of collaboration, and opening the boundaries between markets and economies. Yet it also has brought about unintended consequences.


Across the world, enterprise and government leaders are challenged to create and sustain progress in an environment that is increasingly complicated to understand, plan for, and adapt to. The very thing that broke down boundaries and pulled societies, economies, businesses, governments, and people into a shared global playing field has continued to evolve. This new state has produced new ‘hyper-polar’ opportunities, struggles for ownership, and demand for shared resources and responsibilities.

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Balancing Privacy and Security in the Pokémon Go Era

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

July 27, 2016 at 9:32 AM

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

~ Ben Franklin


When Ben Franklin wrote those words almost 300 years ago, he was addressing a concern about exchanging physical and intellectual liberties for security – what the people would give to the king in exchange for protection.


Today, we willingly sacrifice liberties in exchange for security. Yet, in our hyperconnected world, we face a similar challenge as we consider trading privacy for security, simplicity, and customization. The digitalization of the world is in full swing, and debates about privacy and security dominate discussions. Just during these summer months, terrorist events, cyber crimes, and crazes like Pokémon Go have shown just how connected we are to one another and how vulnerable we are as a result.


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The Deep Fundamentals of War

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

May 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

 “Knowledge, in short, is now the central resource of destructivity, just as it is the central resource for productivity.”

– Alvin & Heidi Toffler (War and Anti-War)


Technology is both our greatest strength and most terrifying vulnerability. Everyone, across the world, is always on, connected, communicating, creating, consuming and sharing information. We have the perceived capacity to be everywhere. Drones, space, bio-digital convergence, autonomous and artificial intelligence (AI) driven platforms and other pieces of rapidly advancing technology are transforming the world. We have the ability to access more data than the human mind can process which makes cutting through the ‘noise’ to identify and understand the veracity and security of our knowledge a top priority.


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The Great Compromise: Balancing Security and Innovation

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

March 16, 2016 at 9:30 AM

The recent news that the 2013 compromise of the Bowman Avenue Dam is being blamed on the Iranian government has prompted new discussions about our current global security climate. This particular attack was relatively unsophisticated. It took place in a small community outside of New York City and impacted back office systems, not the operational systems of the dam. It was promulgated by a group of lower level hackers who used off-the-shelf malicious software tools that could be downloaded off the Internet. 

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4 Key Assessments to Strengthen Your Organizational Security

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

February 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The ever-increasing interdependence between technology, people, and rapid globalization means that security breaches have become an expected part of doing business. For organizations to develop resilient and successful organizational security, they must take an integrated and collaborative approach. Their approach must involve every key stakeholder working together to monitor, understand and proactively address risks and threats.

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Rise of the Machine 2.0: Security After the Internet of Things

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

September 23, 2015 at 8:53 AM

Over a remarkably short period of time, we have evolved from understanding how to manage technology in various parts of our lives, to adapting to a fully integrated existence. Highlighting this progress in a September speech at the Royal United Services Institute, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work drove home the potential of integration, “The third offset strategy will be based on increased human-machine collaboration and combat-teaming.”

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The Rise of the Machine: Do Humans Have a Place in Security?

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

September 9, 2015 at 10:05 AM

We live with risk every day, and we work very hard to stay safe. We lock our doors, shred our mail, guard access to our credit cards, and protect our data with passwords. In recent years, however, we have seen a rash of situations that have challenged our perceptions of security: personal data compromised on Federal Government systems, hackers stealing information from large companies, and workplace violence caught on live television. There is no shortage of examples.

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