Future wars won’t be fought by the fittest and strongest with guns and bombs; it’ll be done from behind a keyboard and mouse.

2020 HeadshotThat’s according to Marc Crudgington, based on the extensive research in his new book, “The Coming Cyber War.” The challenge, he says, is for both organizations and individuals to be prepared and how to handle the inevitable — the cyber attack that might clear them out financially or cause a life and death situation. 

The book is a solid page-turner, with incredible anecdotes — including the tale of an explosion 1/7th the size of the atomic bombs from World War II, deep in the heart of Siberia. The work also considers Crudgington’s extensive personal experience within the cybersecurity community, including his current role as a CISO of a major bank based in the Houston area. 

Crudgington had his “I can write a book” wake-up call while on a ferry ride on the Potomac, in the heat of a discussion with an industry colleague. It was 2016, and like many others in the industry, they were talking about the allegations of election meddling by outside actors like Russia through digital means. Geopolitical factors affecting security became top-of-mind for him, and it ultimately inspired him to start writing.

“I felt that the moment I stepped off the boat, I thought I had something to say,” he said. “There, I termed it ‘the coming cyber war,’ and then I started writing the book little by little.” (That title, by the way, just came naturally, Crudgington said.)

The book, according to Crudgington, covers the dynamics of the CISO’s relationship with company executives, members of the Board of Directors, and highlights the vital role of the individual contributor in the security of an entire organization. These dynamics are covered in their own individual sections, allowing for a full picture of what organizations are up against in the cyber war.

“You cannot just keep security in the basement anymore,” he said. “The relationship between CISOs and other executives and their boards

After several years of research and collecting various experiences, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that really fired up Crudgington’s writing process, thanks to the extra down-time while at home. With the changing security environment that includes working-from-home and even more cyber scams, the outcomes from the pandemic also shaped some of the content of the book, he said.  of directors is becoming incredibly important.”

Cyber War Cover

Maintaining his focus and not getting too deep “into the weeds” was important to him, with a primary audience of cybersecurity executives. He said there are some ups and downs to the writing process, but by tapping into his creative side, it turned into an extremely enjoyable process.

“The easiest part is when you’ve done your research and sit down to write,” Crudgington said. “Sometimes it just flows, and sometimes it just doesn’t.”

And with his extensive experience, he has a great deal of advice to give for his fellow CISOs and up-and-comers. The “common knowledge” that he disagrees with? The idea that cybersecurity is a cost-center.

“There is efficiency to be gained with cybersecurity. It can be a win for you; it benefits you in the long-run,” he said.

Want more advice from Marc Crudgington? He will be joining the CISO Panel at Data Connectors Texas Virtual Cybersecurity Summit, offering his insight on how the local community can enrich their security protocols.

Plus, you can get a copy of his book here.

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