The shipping and energy infrastructure around us can be pretty inspiring. It reflects years of labor by our men and women, the scale of our economy, the power of our ingenuity. If you sit for a while and watch the ships coming in and out of harbor, you feel connected to history and the wider world. Yet cargo is not the only thing that’s moving.
Look a little deeper, and behind it all lies data. And that data makes our infrastructure vulnerable. It used to be that an adversary like Russia or China had to invest in naval vessels or missiles to try to strike at our shipping lanes or energy systems. Today cyberspace renders obsolete the benefits once afforded by geography; an adversary can cross the seas in seconds. No naval ships required. No need for missiles. Just networks.
Generations of men and women worked hard to build up our economic power, including our ports and energy infrastructure, and the time has come to invest in and protect the data that underpins it all. When you build fences around your critical applications and servers, you’re not just securing data — you’re defending our economy and all the years of work that brought us to today.
I spent some time musing on this waterfront at the Port of Oakland.