Public and Private Sectors Tackling Cyber Threats

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Public and Private Sectors Tackling Cyber Threats


The interests of the public and private sectors do not always align.  However, a recent case shows how the cooperation of the two sectors can lead to protecting the public from cyber threats. The U.S. National Security Agency alerted Microsoft about a major security flaw in its Windows 10 operating system.

Hackers could have easily exploited the flaw

The flaw was severe and the NSA said hackers could easily find a way to exploit it.  Microsoft patched the flaw the same week it was reported.

The flaw allowed hackers to easily design fake security certificates that would give them a free pass to run malicious software on Windows devices. Because of the fake security certificates, everything would look legitimate to a Windows’ system.  Users would be unaware of any malicious files because digital signatures would appear to have come from a trusted provider.

Working together and tackling cyber threats may be a positive sign for public-private cooperation

The cooperation between Microsoft and the NSA is a good example of how two different industries can work together. The cooperation very likely prevented a significant cyber attack.  Michael Kaiser, former executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, said that the level of trust and sharing between government and business a decade ago was not high. This recent cooperation between the NSA and Microsoft may indicate that things are changing for the better.



About RKN Global

RKN Global’s founder, Ronald Noble, fought corruption on all fronts as INTERPOL’s Secretary General from 2000 to 2014. At INTERPOL, Ronald Noble discovered a link between corruption and fraudulent passports and identity documents. Ronald Noble believes that by fighting corruption and improving the quantity and quality of passport screening, the world will become a safer place.