October 31, 2022


Last week, I was in New York for two events: one for Lenovo’s advisory council, which I can’t talk about, and another for BlackBerry’s security conference, which I can and will discuss.

At the BlackBerry event, instead of his traditional entertaining keynote, BlackBerry CEO John Chen interviewed Victor Zora, who shares responsibility for Ukraine’s cyber defense. It was a fascinating conversation.

It was so interesting that Ukraine, due to its unfortunate conflict with Russia, has become a malware and security analyst magnet. Not only is Russia deploying some of the most aggressive malware products out there, but it also has some of the best cybersecurity analysts. A thousand from Blackberry are working to mitigate these attacks, spreading this knowledge around the world so that other countries can benefit and supporting Ukraine in an important, but not massive, talk. .

In short, while the conflict in Ukraine is terrifying for the people who live there, it is also doing so so that we are not compromised by similar attacks in the future.

Let’s explore this unique security dynamic between Ukraine and BlackBerry this week as it should confirm BlackBerry as the company known for cybersecurity. Then we’ll close with my product of the week, my new favorite laptop, the incredibly unique Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 Dual-Screen Laptop.

battlefield test

I spend more time than I should on Quora, where we constantly discuss possible future wars and conflicts. Some of the military discussions on that forum are fascinating.

One of the common themes is that America’s current advantage in any conflict is actual war experience. We have fought many of them and as a result, we have more people who have developed related skills. Simulation and training drills are fine, but as Russia is figuring out how armies behave when actual bullets are fired, it may differ significantly from their behavior in artificial conflicts.

This is not only true of people. Defense systems designed for one type of conflict, such as tanks and fighter aircraft, may not perform well when technological advances or battlefields differ from what these systems were designed for. Even when the designs are perfect, the processes around them may not be enough to support these systems once they are in conflict.

So actual battle testing becomes a game-changer when it comes to warfare, and current wars are increasingly being fought in cyberspace.

Ukraine and Blackberry

Blackberry responded aggressively to the Russian threat and quickly stepped in to aid Ukraine as it already had enough resources in the country. But while BlackBerry is an important part of this effort, according to Viktor Zora, it is backed by a large number of volunteer security experts inside and outside Ukraine and helps to better protect the country and against an increasingly failed cyberattack rate. Focuses on security.

This vast collaboration between companies and countries has formed an unmatched cyber-defense cooperation, which could be the largest long-term cyber defense worldwide, which is especially important right now because weapons do not respect borders.

Cyber ​​weapons have a bad tendency to transcend conflicts and infect governments and companies in other parts of the world. Therefore, this unheard-of cooperation on defense provides much stronger protection than would otherwise be the case.

In addition, teamwork between companies and countries potentially creates momentum for law enforcement to cross borders and hold hostile actors accountable. The inability to find and attribute the source of the attack is often the biggest problem in mitigating attacks, especially ransomware. It reminds me somewhat that the problems of the Wild West in American criminals can easily cross the border to avoid prosecution. There were similar issues in Europe before the EU came into existence.

In short, this tremendous effort is increasing cyber resilience in Ukraine – and globally – making us all safer by creating an unprecedented cyber security network and response system that would have been far more advanced and capable if this conflict had not occurred.

Cyber ​​Security and Politics

After Victor Zora, Representative Tony Gonzalez, R-Texas took the stage. Gonzalez, a leading cybersecurity expert in the military, said something that I think is worth repeating: There are two types of politicians in America, those who put their parties first and those who put their country and their jobs first. Huh.

Congressman Gonzalez is a big believer in cyber security. Instead of misbehaving with someone on the other hand, they talked about the need to cooperate, cooperate and feel that they are there to do one thing, not to mistreat the people in another party with whom they work. To do that they need to work. I was impressed, and I am not often influenced by American politicians.

Another interesting point he said is that in the US, the Department of Defense is both the best and the worst at cyber security. Best because it will invest massively in security, but at worst because it has a large number of policies that make it impossible to respond rapidly to a threat.

The conflict in Ukraine provides a perfect example of why it is important that defense organizations not only cooperate and invest, but also be agile and rushing to identify and mitigate threats. As Tony Gonzalez is finding, the policies that are put in place are extremely difficult to change.

One of the stories I heard when I was young was the Zulu rebellion and how a bunch of natives with spears took out a good portion of the British army with their then modern weapons because the policies of the British army paralyzed them Had given.

The British Army had focused on cost control. To receive ammunition you had to fill out and submit an Approved Request. The officer in charge of ammunition had to open a tin (like a sardine container) with a special key to provide that ammunition, and, with thousands of Zulu warriors walking on you, that process left the entire army. Killed (I was told that one of the first casualties was the officer in charge of bullets shot by his own men to get the ammunition quickly).

Ukrainians are fighting for their lives. Obviously, if there are policies that are hurting their efforts, those policies are closed. It offers the lessons of the Zulu War to countries that are not Ukraine – such as in the US and Europe – that should have policy changes that will reduce these kinds of problems when it comes to cyber security around the world.

wrapping up

It was fascinating to see how the close collaboration between Blackberry and Ukraine significantly benefited both entities and how the collaboration was much broader than I ever realized, involving a global army of volunteer cybersecurity experts.

At the same time, it was fascinating that this collaboration was changing behavior and policies around the world, potentially making the world more secure against cyber threats, given the migration of otherwise technologically capable Russians, originating from Russia. Possibly to reduce the worldwide cyber threats that are occurring.

BlackBerry’s work in Ukraine is raising BlackBerry’s profile significantly as it continues to focus on cyber security and IoT to a point where it’s hard to argue that it’s the only company capable of defending against state-sponsored threats. are, unfortunately, an important part of the world we live in now.

Technical Product of the Week

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 Laptop

My problem with the laptop, which is what I’m typing in right now, is that I don’t have enough screen space. My primary monitor in my home office is a 49-inch monster from Dell. Obviously I have a serious problem with my laptop shrinking down to 15 inches.

The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 not only has a huge screen, but there’s also an additional screen that sits next to the keyboard where you can enter your social media feed, more easily use pen input, or on the primary screen. You can expand on what you are doing. Battery life, as is the case with all large-screen laptops, is limited, but it’s a station-by-station product, and that’s how I operate. I rarely work where there’s a plug, but I’ll take less battery life in exchange for a bigger screen.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen3 17-inch Laptop

ThinkBook Plus Gen3 17-inch Laptop (Image Credit: Lenovo)

The primary screen is an impressive 17.3 inches, and the second screen is eight inches, effectively pairing a small, embedded tablet with a giant-screen laptop. For a product this unique, it has a very reasonable entry price (as of this writing) of $1,400. is less than,Which is a good value, as most products in the 17-inch-screen class can be far more expensive.

So, it is not only an impressive offering; It is economical also. A friend of mine is traveling with it and shared that it’s been a huge conversation starter when he opens it on a plane. It’s also a great way to watch movies on the main screen while keeping email on the smaller screen.

Another analyst pointed out that he can keep his team meeting on the small screen and play the game on the big screen without notice which usually goes to the other participants if you are no longer watching the meeting (this What surprises me is how few people realize we know what they’re doing with more traditional laptops or desktop computers).

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is the new laptop I’ve been craving – and it’s my product of the week.

, Note: The price of $1,400 was last week after a 40% discount, and there was a notice that the price would revert to $2,309 today. But I expect they’ll discount this level again as we get closer to Black Friday, so you can look forward to that deal.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.