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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 11:52

Giuliani calls for cybersecurity push

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Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani made a surprise appearance at the BlackBerry Security Summit, warning of the rapid growth of cybercrime and cyberterrorism.

Cybercrime and cyberterrorism are both growing at rates between 20% and 40%, said Giuliani, who made a brief return from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to speak at BlackBerry's New York event.

"Think of it like cancer. We can't cure it... but if we catch it early we can put it into remission," he said. The quicker you can spot an attack, the less chance there is of loss.

Furthermore, systems designers are not starting with security in mind, Giuliani said.

Improving cybersecurity so it is the best it can be "is like my last crusade," he said. "I want to get to 100% [security] because I hate crime and I hate criminals."

"This is going to be the challenge of our next 10 to 15 years."

Giuliani suggested that state-sponsored attacks aren't the problem, because the MAD (mutually assured destruction) doctrine applies just as it did in the old war. If China tried to put the lights out in the US, the US could do the same to China.

And nations with "insane" leaders are largely kept in check by their military and technical people

Terrorist groups are a different issue, because MAD does not apply and it takes time to track them down.

"We didn't pay him a dime" to speak at the summit, said BlackBerry executive chairman and chief executive John Chen. "He believes in what we do."

Disclosure: The writer attended the BlackBerry Security Summit as a guest of the company

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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