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W. Hord Tipton
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New Security Trend: Bring Your Own Attorney

BYOA is not a security joke anymore. There is clearly a need for a cybersecurity community that is well-versed in legal and ethical principles.

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Acronyms have an amusing way of characterizing moments in time. For some of us, BYOB (bring your own beverage) became a familiar and festive part of college. Now, later in life, those of us in the government professional environment have learned to use a similar acronym -- BYOD.

BYOD sums up the ability to use our own mobile device -- laptop, tablet, smart phone -- to access agency or company information and applications. It also suggests an approach that makes our job easier, makes us more productive and creates an overall more satisfying work-life balance.

I see a similar acronym being tossed around that could likely define the next decade in government IT, however. This one gives off a not-so-festive and certainly not-so-productive vibe -- BYOA or bring your own attorney.

While BYOA is mostly used tongue-in-cheek in government security circles, the era of BYOA is quickly evolving from jest to reality, given the nature of today's cyber conflicts and murky data privacy policies.

[ Beginning of a new hacking wave? Read NY Times Caught In Syrian Hacker Attack. ]

Reuters, based on interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, recently reported the U.S. government is now believed to be the "biggest buyer" of malware, as part of an offensive strategy that experts believe leaves business and consumer systems/data vulnerable.

This and countless other complex security considerations only reinforce the fact that whether a breach is caused by a questionable offensive measure or a faulty defensive measure, cyber represents the next biggest legal battlefield for government organizations.

In the area of cyber, legal issues almost always result in a need for the specialty of digital forensics in an effort to find out what happened, who did it and how to prove it. On a global scale, digital forensics is considered among the fastest growing fields in technology because there are simply not enough resources to adequately investigate the number and complexity of crimes occurring. Consider that 20% of nearly 12,400 respondents in an (ISC)² 2013 Global Information Security Study said there were not enough forensic analysts within their organization.

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User Rank: Apprentice
8/29/2013 | 1:58:13 PM
re: New Security Trend: Bring Your Own Attorney
We hear that the hottest IT-related professions are data scientists and security technologists, but anecdotally I'm hearing a lot lately about another one: lawyers. One top CIO recently told me that most of his hires in the past year were lawyers and other compliance experts. And he wasn't happy about it.
Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2013 | 6:24:27 PM
re: New Security Trend: Bring Your Own Attorney
The jokes almost write themselves. Q: How many lawyers does it take to hunt down attribution for a breach? A: How many can you afford? Q: What do they call the new virus written by a lawyer? A: Sosumi
User Rank: Apprentice
8/29/2013 | 8:14:42 PM
re: New Security Trend: Bring Your Own Attorney
Given that we probably don't need any more lawyers, let's hope more folks pursue an education in digital forensics to meet the growing demand.
User Rank: Apprentice
9/12/2013 | 12:12:21 PM
re: New Security Trend: Bring Your Own Attorney
BYOA - LOL! Possible legal issues or not, BYOD is being used and BYOD policies are being signed by employees. Yes, you have to be careful, but the best secureity is not to have the data on the device. We use Tigertext messaging to send text, images and attachments, since they auto-delete after a set period of time and therefore don't remain on the phone/device which is more secure for everyone. Here is a link to a good BYOD policy that deals with this:
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