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Too Late to Fight “Cyber”

by Anton Chuvakin  |  March 27, 2013  |  2 Comments

In the place and time where I grew up, the phrase “computer science” didn’t really exist. Neither did the word “computer”, as a matter of fact.  The whole area roughly equivalent to today’s computer science was called (and I am transliterating from Russian here) “kibernetica, soft of like “cybernetics”, but with broader meaning (see Russian wikipedia entry). So, I sort of grew up with “cyber” (reading plenty of sci-fi helped as well, of course).

In recent years,  I made plenty of jokes about “cyber-everything” (and thought this site was brilliant, as far as “cyber-jokes” go). Some “cyber-words” still ring really stupid, and funny (just heard “cyber-diplomacy” the other day – I guess it is the opposite of “cyber-war” or something).

However, the time has come for me to admit defeat. Just like the word “hacker” in the not-so-recent past, “cyber security” has entered daily usage with a more or less set meaning. And, the word is actually kinda cute in futuristic kind of way.

More seriously, I think there are contexts where neither of “computer security” (e.g. non-computer devices or OT), “information security” (e.g. DDoS attacks), “IT security” (e.g. data theft not from IT systems) really work well. Therefore, I have come to peace with the term “cyber security” and may use it as an umbrella term for “all things information, digital, computer, data, information, network, IT security.”

There you have it!

P.S. Some reasonable definitions of “cyber security” I’ve seen are here and here.

P.S. Those who still plan to fight the war against “cyber”, sorry for abandoning the camp Smile

Category: philosophy  security  

Tags: security  

Anton Chuvakin
Research VP
5+ years with Gartner
16 years IT industry

Anton Chuvakin is a research VP at Gartner's GTP Security and Risk Management group. Before Mr. Chuvakin joined Gartner, his job responsibilities included security product management, evangelist… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Too Late to Fight “Cyber”


  1. Tamer Ibrahim says:

    I agree, however I see using “Cyber” is a matter of trend, and may e will be replaced with another word or term.

  2. Of course, it is a matter of trend, but it seems to be spreading further (for now), so its usage is no longer the domain of government security and misguided people. It is pretty much a household word at this point.



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