Being a cybersecurity company in these turbulent times puts us at Tripwire, to some degree, on the front-line.

Working with the largest organisations in government, finance and critical national infrastructure, we see good and bad every day. In a confusing hybrid war where APT groups launch attacks that could potentially turn out the lights, it is hard to remain impartial. The fact that a political act of devastation manifests as an innocuous looking line of code viewed over a cup of tea does nothing to detract from its destructive and vicious intent.

For all these reasons, we have decided to explore some of the bigger themes in the space in which we operate.

As world-changing events are shaking the foundations of everything we know, it seemed appropriate to take stock and ask questions about the fundamental principles that cybersecurity was founded on—altruism, transparency and community—and how they are relevant today.

The Roots of Altruism in Cybersecurity

To the outside viewer, today’s cybersecurity sector might not be defined by altruism. Looking from a distance, the casual observer would probably see a space which was equal parts risk, pace, commercial imperative and perhaps a touch of theatre. But the beginnings of cybersecurity were much more altruistic. These beginnings were characterized by curious individuals who were prescient in spotting the role technology would eventually play in society and who were asking ‘what if.’

What initially started as loose collections of academics and programmers with curious minds began to coalesce into collectives and think-tanks such as L0pht. Their famous testimony to Congress in 1998 outlining how they could ‘shut down the Internet in 30 minutes’ epitomised the questioning, sometimes challenging but always well-intended mindset of such groups. The Director of Information Protection at the National Security Council at the time summed (Read more...)