10 Questions with Andrew Colarik

<p>Andrew Colarik, co-editor for <em>Cyber Security and Policy</em></p>

Andrew Colarik, co-editor for Cyber Security and Policy

1. Now that it’s published, what pleases you most about Cyber Security and Policy: A Substantive Dialogue?

Two things in particular please me about the release of this book. The first are the collaborative relationships that were created in its making. It’s a very diverse set of researchers contributing to a wide variety of contributions. The second is that it is the beginning of a larger dialogue about technology policy.


2. Why should it be read?

Cyberspace is now a part of everything we do. Knowing the larger issues we face will better prepare us for the challenges that will emerge from this domain. This may sound old-fashioned, but it is true.


3. What are the strengths of its contributions?

Some are technical and some are not; yet they all recognise the issues we face and discuss what we can do about them.


4. What’s one new thing you learnt while editing the book?

The smallest voice can often have the best ideas. If you listen to what is being said by the authors, you may see something you won’t get from the loudest in the room. The authors speak with a soft voice while offering something significant.


5. You start off by quoting JRR Tolkien. Why?

Life is change, though we rarely accept it. Tolkien captures those changes in his stories. He reminds us of our humanity when change is at its most critical point. That’s what I have always strived to do as well.


6. Is the general public naïve about the cyber-security issues that New Zealand faces?

They are not naïve about their needs when using cyberspace. They often forget the consequences of dependence and extended use. They will eventually come to this realisation. Then we will see if they think of themselves as naïve or if this was just one of many youthful indiscretions.


7. Are our government and corporations ready for what is coming?

No, they really are not ready. Organisations tend to only protect themselves. If a competitor gets hacked or knocked offline, customers will change providers. That is a good thing in the competitive environment. The problem is that the infrastructure and technologies used to support one organisation are essentially the same for its competitor. When one falls, the others are not too far away from falling as well. If they don’t start sharing with each other, bad things will come. No one likes to hear things like this. This is why I don’t get invited to all the cool parties.


8. Given what is at stake, do you think a global cyber policy that all nations can sign up to is likely?

In the same way that we enact embargoes on states that don’t play nice with their neighbours, I see cyberspace going in this direction. Whole ‘chunks’ of traffic being stopped at the border because bad actors did not live up to the international standards of conduct in the digital space. But these things start small and grow over time. That’s where cyber policy will lead the effort.


9. Editing such a diverse and comprehensive book: stress or pleasure?

Pure pleasure. The authors stepped up to the challenge and truly gave life to this project. My co-editors were great, and did the real heavy lifting. The publishing staff were awesome and added the right amount of polish.


10. What are you reading at the moment?

Read? Who has time to read? Kidding aside, I have been watching some very bad people on the dark web . . . but that’s a tale for another day.