Adam Shostack is a cybersecurity expert with decades of experience who has advocated for the reporting and analysis of cybersecurity’s “near misses” – incidents that organizations could report on to give the industry some crucial clues on hacks and breaches with the aim of learning what works and where the weak spots are.
It’s quite common to treat events as black or white, with an event either treated as a success or a failure. A near miss may have come close to bringing an adverse outcome, but even if the miss were out of sheer luck, by this thinking, it would be considered a success. However, there are plenty of things to learn from near misses – lessons that can save a lot of time and resources down the road.
When the near miss is an attempted cyber attack, the outcome for a large organization, for example, would potentially be a significant and costly data breach. However, since it’s a near miss, it costs the organization nothing at the time but could cost a lot more if the organization fails to learn from the failed attack. And that’s what Adam Shostack advocates for, organizations pre-empting future assaults by learning from near misses.