Measuring Resilience of Physical, Personnel, IT, and Operational Security Controls
In 1839, Samuel Morse went on an international marketing spree in an attempt to sell his latest invention, the electrical telegraph. Like any shrewd marketeer, he extolled the virtues of his design and pointed out the many weaknesses and limitations of his competitors. He made a point of visiting the leading European courts and scientific communities, seeking collaborators and funding, as a precursor to the lucrative government contracts of today. One such prospect was Czar Nicholas I. After a lengthy period of consideration, the czar turned him down. Why? Because the czar correctly surmised that electrical forms of communication were subject to disruption by “malevolent acts” and hence could be unreliable and insecure. While this fact is common knowledge
today, it was a rather insightful observation in 1839 given that no form of electrical communication had been deployed anywhere in the world. The telephone had not yet been invented. Computers, the Internet, and wireless networks were more than 100 years in the future. The czar based his decision on deductive logic. In contrast, the other European powers declined Morse’s offer due to a desire to keep their indigenous scientists and engineers employed, in a foreshadowing of future trade wars. In the end, this uppity Yankee conducted his proof-of-concept demonstration and pilot tests at home in the United States, with a little help from Congress. The rest is history.