Cyber Saturday—Would You Buy Cybersecurity From a Witch Doctor?
Happy weekend, Cyber Saturday readers.
It has been busy here at HQ between a Fortune 500 issue close and New York City’s “blockchain week,” so I’m passing my weekend column duties onto a pinch hitter. Today’s essay comes to you courtesy of Oren Falkowitz, a cybersecurity entrepreneur, NSA alum, and regular reader of this newsletter. His contribution is timely, you’ll discover as you read on, given that it was the 100th birthday of the late scientist Richard Feynman last week. Hope you enjoy.
When the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman delivered the 1974 commencement speech at Caltech, he warned against “cargo cult science,” in which people arrive at erroneous conclusions by misinterpreting the causality of results. The phrase derives from religious movements on isolated islands in the South Pacific that received airdrops of vital supplies during World War II. There, witch doctors pronounced that building new airstrips and bamboo headphones would make the supply-laden airplanes reappear.
Unfortunately, this sort of deluded thinking is just as prevalent in our modern world; nowhere more so than in cybersecurity.