Governments regularly reach out to their citizens and the business community for help with challenges that they just don’t have the skills, expertise or enough resources to effectively address in a timely manner. Fair enough. I’ve been known to respond to such calls just as when a client calls needing access to expertise to help them in the information security domain. However how does this conflict with government rhetoric about the case for information security or as it’s being called cybersecurity.

Government organisations rightly highlight the need for business, government bodies and citizens to secure their intellectual property. Securing such information assets not only protects and secures the economic benefits for the individual, business or state body but also economic prosperity of the sovereign state.

So when national stakeholders in public policy recognise your expertise, ask you to contribute to solving their problems but don’t compensate you for making your expertise available to them aren’t they looking to access your IP not only at no expense to themselves but most likely at expense to the advisor. If you are your product isn’t this a fundamental breach of information security principles?