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01 June 2007

Yet again, Network Intelligence Example

There must be something in the air – that wonderful early summer sunshine, the fresh air, something… Analysts all over are publicly drawing a blank when required to apply core analytic tradecraft or even basic critical thinking. (Again, we are sure there are many in government and elsewhere grateful for the obscuring effects of classification policy which will cover their own myraid sins.)

Arbor Networks’ Chief Research Officer does a great job calling out Symantec’s muddied interpretation of a short term statistical change in observed cyber attack reporting – despite an acknowledged methodological adjustment in the manner in which such reporting is collected and characterized. Once again, it's in the numbers - tricky things, these are.

It must have given the Arbor folks no small degree of satisfaction to show up one of their competitors in the open source intelligence / cyber intelligence space. This is one of the great reasons why a competitive marketplace for privatized intelligence services can offer better value in the long term for the decision-maker: the best product line over time will win.

Now, to be fair, we have long liked Symantec’s bi-annual OSINT offerings, even despite their marketing slant. But we also appreciate a good coordination fight – and seeing one between two competitors, in an evaluation conducted in full public view, is most refreshing. We hope that it will result in improved rigour and depth for all players in the space.

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