A member of the Architect of the Capitol inspects a damaged entrance of the U.S. Capitol January 7, 2021 after pro-Trump mobs stormed the building. Today's columnist, Gregory Conti of Kopidion, offers insights into how security pros are responding to last week's events. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

For a short, but critical period of time last Wednesday, chaos reigned inside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Risk assessment failed. Sure, one day a mob could theoretically invade the building, but what are the chances? This legitimately remote possibility was assumed away and the long-term security posture designed for more likely threats. Reasonable enough, until a mob stormed the building.

Remediation has started. The response team will start with triage. Security pros will look for what’s obviously wrong: what systems were accessed, items taken, and spaces breached. Network defenders will conduct scans looking for problems. Classified systems and data will take priority.

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