Beijing’s March 2021 China and Arab States Data Security Agreement is supposed to strengthen cooperation in communications and information technology. While details have yet been published, the document focuses on ensuring the integrity of data and production chains that drive the digital economy. This is not the first time that China and the Arab nations have collaborated, having engaged one another in emerging technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence. However, it is noteworthy as this partnership makes the Middle East the first region to have engaged in a data security initiative with China, according to China’s Foreign Minister.
In this week’s OODAcast we interview Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. Ray is a great leader, evidenced by the people he has attracted to his firm. I know many of his team and can say for a fact that they are people who can do just about anything they want (which means they are in a position to pick their boss). Ray is also an entrepreneur, and in this OODAcast provides context anyone thinking of starting out on their own should consider. One of many anecdotes he provided was an insightful recap of a conversation he had with his then boss at Forrester Research, George Forrester Colony, which made it clear to Ray that he faced a choice. He could work at a place that wanted to motivate him to be as average as possible or he could go out on his own and create his future himself. It takes a type of bravery to do what Ray did next, a type of bravery very likely at the core of any entrepreneur.
Something is different in the geopolitical situation today. The reasons are probably a combination of factors that include the pandemic, the rise of the global grid of cyberspace, plus the payoff of years of planning and strategic moves by our adversaries. But whatever the reasons, the world today is more complicated and more dangerous than the world of just a year ago, and in many cases the risks being faced by open societies have never been seen before. The changes are so significant, OODA recommends all business leaders take stock of the geopolitical situation and assess how the nature of these changes should impact your business strategy.
“The world is a more dangerous and complicated place than it was just a year ago. Your corporate strategy and defensive posture needs to reflect that”
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is an exciting application of quantum technologies that has exploded in the past decade. QKD is used to share encryption keys across an established optical link or network. QKD can be used to generate a secure, shared secret key between two users. This key is then used in an algorithm to encrypt message traffic. The big advantage QKD offers is that any attempt to read the information stored in the photons would destroy the message and be immediately detected. Quantum cryptography is fundamentally viable today in the laboratory and used in some high-end security applications, like banking and stock trading, that can rely on dedicated short distance physical fibers.
Lisa J. Porter has successfully lead some of the world’s largest and most critical technology efforts. Her career started with a focus on academic rigor in pursuit of some of the toughest degrees, a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT and a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford. She would later lecture at MIT and then became a researcher for DARPA related projects, eventually becoming a DARPA program manager. Dr. Porter would later lead NASA’s Aeronautics Portfolio, would become the first Director of the Intelligence Community’s IARPA, became President at Teledyne Scientific and an EVP at In-Q-Tel, and then was named to be the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, an office which is essentially the CTO for the entire Department of Defense.