Pete Lindstrom

Vice-President of security research with IDC's IT Executive Program (IEP)

The Economics of Cybersecurity:

We live in a world of scarcity, tradeoffs, cognitive biases, and unintended consequences and the cybersecurity field has its share of these. Meanwhile, we often characterize the security state of technologies, platforms, and environments using the false dichotomy of “secure” or “insecure” and make judgments based on perceived notions of dread without recognizing the pervasive complexities and nuances that affect decisions. This talk will identify the traditional economic concepts evident in cybersecurity, address the myriad of ways we are impacted by them, and provide a decision framework that allows organizations to develop and manage an efficient and effective security program.


Pete Lindstrom is Vice-President of security research with IDC’s IT Executive Program (IEP). He has extensive and broad expertise with a variety of information security products, but is best known as an authority on cybersecurity economics issues such as strategic security metrics, estimating risk and return, and measuring security programs. He has also focused on applying core risk management principles to new technologies, architectures, and systems, focusing on the use of virtualization, cloud security, and big data. He has developed the “Four Disciplines of Security Management” (a security operations model), and the “5 Immutable Laws of Virtualization Security,” which was integrated into guidance from the PCI Council.

Prior to joining IDC in 2014, Pete accumulated 25 years of industry experience as an IT auditor, IT security practitioner, and industry analyst. He is a frequent contributor to business and trade publications and is often quoted in USA Today, WSJ Online, Information Security Magazine, VAR Business,, and CSO Magazine. His columns and articles have appeared in Information Security Magazine,, ISSA Journal, and CSO Online. Additionally, Mr. Lindstrom is a popular speaker at the RSA Security Conference, InfoSec World, ISSA International Conference, and many regional conferences.

Pete served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Notre Dame.

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