In the United States, there is one thing that we should be more or less proud of: Our capitalistic society. Yes, this means free markets and free trade, and pretty much anything we want to do business wise as long as it does not impede upon the rights of others, and it is of course, not illegal.
So, this means that even the Average Joe can start a business, incorporate, and get moving on his products/services or ideas for even as low $500.00 (of course depending upon the work that they are engaged in).
But capitalism can also bring out the worse in people, especially when it comes to competition. A lot of businesses over time have been eaten up, downsized, or simply had to shut down because of the bigger behemoths that were eating them up.
But this week, it appears that the competitive face of capitalism is taking a back seat, and is making room for cooperation in an effort to fight one common enemy – the Cyber Attacker.
As I have written about before, the major tech giants of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Snapchat (as well as others, there are about a dozen companies in this particular grouping) are meeting this Friday. This is an effort to see how their services could be “abused” before the November midterm elections. Yes, you read that right “abused”.
Apparently, they all want to get together in an effort to see what the Security weaknesses and flaws are in their technologies which will most likely be used in the upcoming midterm elections. For example, the tech industry here in the United States is under a great amount of pressure from its shareholders, the Federal Government, and even its own workers not to allow a repeat of the 2016 election.
This is when Russia used online services to covertly spread disinformation about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party in general.
Of course, the meeting is being held behind closed doors and everybody is hush hush about it. After all, nobody wants to give away their trade secrets, or have the Cyber attacker know about them, right???
But, it has been rumored that presentations and lectures from each company will be provided as to what they’re doing in terms of Cyber security, and protecting their own customer base. There will also be a discussion period on the Security problems that the companies face.
Ultimately, they would like to come to a consensus and have the ability to meet on a regular basis, perhaps something like once a quarter or so. Another event that has been fueling these talks are the recent events with Iran, when all of the social media sites reported (especially that of Facebook and Twitter) covert Iranian activity and took down hundreds of accounts.
I think it is a great idea that these tech giants are actually all going to meet together and face each other to determine what needs to be done to help secure the midterm elections. But, my fear is that talk will be just talk. What will the end results of all these meetings? I mean we only have two more months to go before the midterm elections happen.
What is the plan of action to make sure that Russia will not meddle again in our elections? What additional safeguards are being planned for this? Are there any backup and recovery procedures that are in place?
If these tech giants truly want to get a gauge how their technological platforms can be abused, why not hire a group of expert Pen Testers to break their systems? That would seem to make the most sense to me. But if this were to occur, then there is a greater chance that the flaws in their systems could be potentially revealed.
So, it is a Catch 22. My only fear is that it is already too late to help secure the systems that will be used in the midterm elections.
After all, it does take a great amount of time to implement them and to also ensure that they are working up to the Security requirements that have been set forth. So, only time will tell what truly happen. We won’t know what is going to transpire until it actually does. Then these could be the talking points for these tech giants at their next meeting after the elections.
After all, it only takes a grave Cyber attack to finally get something moving . . . . which all could have been avoided in the first place.