An Interview With Misha Glenny
What do you think poses the biggest threat to organisations; cyber crime or organised crime - or are the two interlinked?
Until recently there has been little interaction between traditional organised crime and cyber. I am currently developing a new talk in which I investigate how the two are starting to appreciate each other and benefit from their different skills. The implications are deeply disturbing.
Why do you enjoy being a speaker?
It is a genuine thrill getting on stage in order to both inform and entertain people. Many talks involve travelling abroad which means staying over for one or two nights. This allows me to get to know the audience and exchange stories in a more informal way. And as a writer and journalist, I am able to learn and feed off the fascinating people I meet from all walks of life.
What do you do to ensure your presentation has a lasting impact?
It is essential to get the balance between visual information, graphics and audio, on the one hand, and spoken information just right. But underpinning this is finding the stories which are gripping, funny or unexpected but which also really advance people's knowledge and understanding of a particular world. It doesn't have to be directly relevant to their lives but it must be something that they want to know about (even if they didn't realise that at the start of the talk). And never drone on too long!
What do you think are the implications of the recent cyber allegedly carried out by North Korea on Sony for other organisations?
Well, first I have to say that there is no definitive proof that it was North Korea that carried out the attack! And this is a controversial affair. I think most important is that the scale and ease of attacks now represents such a threat to commerce and industry (not to mention critical infrastructure and ordinary computer users) that everyone has to up their game and that may mean the introduction of mechanisms which many fear - such as compulsory breach reporting. The other critical issue for corporation and business users is the urgent need to develop a functioning secondary insurance market so that if the worst does happen, there will be some compensation waiting in the wings.
How do you like to spend your weekends?
On Sunday morning, I coach my 17 year-old son's football team, AC Fulham (no relation to Fulham FC). This season we have a mighty powerful team and are heading for the title and promotion. I get more worked up about the result and the performances than the players do. Otherwise, I love reading the weekend FT on a Saturday morning at my local cafe - just bliss.