Cyber Seminar compares net to Medieval age


Summary of 8th September Seminar

London, UK, 13:30 GMT 10th September 1999 - The internet business model was compared to the Medieval period as opposed to the Industrial Revolution at the 2nd mi2g software seminar on "Countering the growing Corporate Threat from Cyber Warfare". 105 CEOs, Finance Directors and Partners of financial institutions, multi-national corporations and professional practices based in USA, Germany, Japan and the UK attended this seminar which was held at Hammond Suddards in the City of London on 8th September.

Venture capitalists have compared the internet to the second industrial revolution. However, during the Victorian period, secure and effective trade routes had already been established. Most on-line businesses are several steps away from secure and trustworthy communications and electronic shopping, where the buyer can be guaranteed the price at which goods will be sold and the credit card databases will not be pillaged through some 'new' vulnerability. Even 512-bit encryption locks, used on many 'secure' e-commerce web sites, have been shown to be breakable recently by an international team of researchers.

"Hardly a week passes without some major incident of piracy, passing off, denial of service or other physical or personnel hazard exposed through the web. In this respect the internet could be compared to the first Elizabethan period, when traders still ran the gauntlet of highwaymen, pirates and crooks on untrustworthy trade routes that were still evolving", said D K Matai, Managing Director of mi2g software.

The reactive security which is being deployed today - anti-virus tool kits and firewalls - does not solve the fundamental architectural flaws the 'wilderness' of the internet exposes. The spread of new viruses such as Melissa, Chernobyl and ExploreZip as epidemics that cost businesses Billions of Dollars worldwide to service are reminders of how ineffective monthly updates of anti-virus tool kits can be. The 1,700 serious Cyber Attacks in the first half of 1999 monitored by mi2g software demonstrate that off-the-shelf firewalls are being left in several networked businesses in default mode. Where the firewalls have been configured there is little multi-layering of defences.

Ultimately the medieval answer of an active and evolving unique castle architecture protecting major trade routes will prove to be the way forward for large scale businesses at least. The agenda for CEOs getting ready to deal with Cyber Risk will involve seven key points which you can receive from mi2g software.

mi2g software warned CEOs and Finance Directors that if there was a business outage caused by a computer attack they will not be able to escape the subsequent share price decline by blaming their head of IT. The share holders would hold the CEO and the board of directors responsible. In each instance, where there has been a business outage or hacking attack known to the customer and public at large, there has been a steep share price decline as an aftermath.


1. The first mi2g software seminar on "Countering the growing corporate threat from Cyber Warfare" was held on 4th August 99. 110 CEOs, Finance Directors and Partners of financial institutions, multi-national corporations and professional practices based in USA, Canada, Japan and the UK attended this seminar which was held at Richards Butler in the City of London. There was a huge demand for the second seminar which was held on 8th September.

2. For older software products, with a long pedigree, such as operating systems and standard applications, where some standard security concerns have been addressed, the 24-hour, 365-day, non stop international threat arising from a networked culture, was not adequately considered in the beginning. The cost of correcting the architectural flaws is so high that it is likely that newer operating systems with source code access may supersede in security critical areas.

3. The total cost of servicing Cyber Warfare incidents world wide is likely to exceed $20 Billion in 1999 according to mi2g software. In the last seven months, there have been three major virus attacks and several full scale Cyber Attacks. Melissa in March, Chernobyl in April and the fatal ExploreZip in June cost corporations huge unplanned and unbudgeted resources. The cost of disabled computers and their down time through each major worldwide Cyber Warfare incident is already exceeding $2.5 Billion.

4. mi2g software (www.mi2g.com) is a leading edge London based e-commerce enterprise specialising in Bespoke Security Architecture and E-commerce Risk Management.

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