by Celeste Restrepo
According to Ray Semko, everyone has the power enhance the security of our families, businesses and our country and we all need to assume that responsibility. Semko, also known as the D*I*C*E* Man, was recently in Peoria to speak at a security briefing at Mt. Hawley Country Club which was underwritten by local information security experts, CIAN.
Semko is known for his D*I*C*E* program that has been utilized by the government and private sector for over 20 years. D*I*C*E* stands for Defensive Information to Counter Everything.
Semko, a former counter intelligence agent, covered a variety of topics including the threats he sees America facing today that ran the full spectrum from the country’s economic woes to personal safety.
“The trillions of dollars we owe are a threat to our security,” Semko said.
He believes the second decade of the 21 century will be the most important in America’s history. “We have to come out stronger than we were before. Our national security is based on our economic strength.”
America is not doing a good enough job protecting our technology and innovations according to Semko. He cited China’s use copying and using American nuclear technology since 1996 as well as that country’s lack of copyright laws that allow American technology to be copied and sold with no ramifications.
Semko points out one of the greatest threats to government and corporate security is the insider. He shared several case studies of military and corporate insiders who sold technology and information to governments from other countries.
He shared the story of what many thought was a beautiful young woman, Robin Sage, who was allegedly a cyber threat analyst at the Naval Network Warfare Command in Virginia. She was set up on many social networking sites including Facebook. In a two month period she was offered consulting work at notable companies including Lockheed Martin, connected with people from the pentagon and department of defense, given the location of secret military bases and sent a NASA paper to review. It turns out she never existed.
Among Semko’s cautions: people need to be more alert in their personal safety. “For example, don’t be texting on the way to your car in a mall parking lot, wait until you get home. Instead you should be focusing your attention on your surroundings and who may be there with bad intentions.”
“In general if something just doesn’t look right it probably isn’t,” Semko said. “If someone is lurking between parked cars, if you see someone is wearing a trench coat acting odd and it’s 90 degrees, these are things you report to your local authorities.”
Semko cautioned his intent is not for people to be paranoid. “They just need to be protected, prepared and pay attention.
The briefing itself was a gift to the community from CIAN CEO and retired Navy cryptologist, Steve Hope. CIAN is focused on helping government and business clients secure their networks and information. The company is the only Peoria area provider focused exclusively on creating customized network appliances, remotely monitoring, analyzing, and securing networks and customer information to address client security concerns.
“It is an honor for CIAN to bring someone of Ray’s caliber here to Peoria,” said Hope. “Our goal was to increase awareness among local government, businesses and private citizens and point out the options we have available to protect themselves, their businesses and our country. We were happy today to see a full spectrum of attendees from private citizens and business people to local and federal law enforcement officials.”