Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Wapack Labs Blogger

Hi all, Chuck Nettleship here, the new Business Development Director at Wapack Labs.  This is my first guest BLOG to give CEO Jeff Stutzman who I have been running ragged for the last 2 plus weeks in the DC area, using the Glen Burnie Safe House and Army Navy Club as our Operation Center’s.  We’ve been networking with my Norwich University alumni buddies and Beltway Bandit contacts after 25 plus years of military and business in the area.
We focused our meetings this week in “snowy DC” connecting with a large defense contractor, a state Fusion Center, DC Think Tanks and international Chamber of Commerce organizations.  As a former US European Command Joint Security Cooperation Planner and DHS Advisor to ADM (USN retired) Jim Stavridis (now Dean at the Fletcher School at Tufts), the work we do at Wapack Labs is similar terrain to what my Joint Operation days required - early warning, actionable and targeted Intel.  After meeting our talented Analyst Team over the holidays, I wanted to start introducing Jeff to areas that may leverage our GEOPOL skills.  Since we cue off of underground activity to find the “why’s” for the nefarious activity we see.  As one of our potential clients said this week, cyber is only a conduit to the “key terrain.”  Trying to decipher the motivations of the cyber underground actors with GEOPOL and commercial activity is perplexing. At Wapack Labs, we are trying to get clients to “the left of the kill chain” in order to influence decision makers to make the right decision” based on facts and valid assumptions.

What we discovered this week listening to the folks we met with is cyber intelligence is and art and science.  The main driver for adding value is to keep economies stable.  Providing proactive, actionable intelligence to keep the commercial sector safe and viable is key to economic stability.  Trying to place the human dimension with malicious cyber actions is what we are good at.  Big data is a resource, but until you can neck-down the adversaries motivation, network and link that to a pending attack is painstaking.  Our Team is very passionate, diligent and successful at this.  To cite an example, I have been tracking the cyber threat to the power grid for several years via OSINT sources.  In talking with a Director at a prestigious Think Tank this week, I asked if he had insight into the power outage in Turkey in March 2015.  He stated he had no early warning or post event indicators to his knowledge.  In doing a search through our archives, I found a piece that Rick Gamache published on March 27 “Wapack Labs ‘GEOPOL Spot Report’ - Rise of the Arab Army -Saudi Arabia and Iran square off over Yemen.”  In this report, Rick forecast “Cyber Targeting of the maritime, transportation, energy, and logistics sectors are on the rise.”  On 30 March, ~90% of the Turkish power grid went down, attributed to President Recep Erdoğan’s public statements backing Saudi Arabia’s action in Yemen.

As we work our magic on tipping and queuing from our stellar Wapack Team, Red Sky Alliance Partners and clients, we are able to connect significant dots in the GEOPOL world.  Our aim is to assist these policy and GEOPOL organizations in DC with our cyber threat intelligence networks by adding value to their OSINT and HUMINT networks enabling a focused policy analysis.  Wapack Labs is an untapped resource to the DC establishments that often narrowly focus on hardware, software and “big data” rather than tailored cyber intelligence sources using human factors.  This differentiates us.

As the snow continues to fall here at our Maryland Safe House, we look forward to a successful 2016 to all.  Go Pats!

Chuck Nettleship, Wapack Labs Business Development Director
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