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Who Protects Our Infrastructures?
Private VS. Government Security
Who Should Be in Charge?
Cyber Warfare – Unintended Consequences
Orwellian Era Concerns
Basic far-reaching dilemma – who guards cyber security for private enterprise? Does our infrastructure guard themselves against foreign computer hacking? Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. Cyber Warfare is when another nation/state, or individual desire to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption.
The recent Stuxnet virus is the stuff of urban legend. In data security circles, it was the first use of computers to commit cyber warfare. Stuxnet is a computer virus designed for a specific purpose: destroy nuclear centrifuges in Iran. Different variants of Stuxnet targeted five Iranian organizations. Stuxnet showed, for the first time, that a cyber-attack could cause significant physical damage to a facility.
There is a serious debate on going to decide if our government provides security for our infrastructure, some examples are: refineries, electrical generation, and water systems. Are the private companies able to go it alone? The fear is that post-Orwellian era concerns about threats to privacy are real.
Who Should be in Charge of Our Security?
Who should be responsible for detecting malware? Should private industry or intelligence-gathering agencies within the federal government be responsible?
The Genie is Out of the Bottle
The Stuxnet virus has given countries like Russia and China, and cyber criminals a textbook on how to attack key U.S. installations. The actual source code of Stuxnet is now available and you can re-purpose it and repackage it. You can customize to your needs.
Complete regions of the country can be isolated leaving citizens powerless from coast to coast. The utility companies are not equipped to combat or detect malware. The Stuxnet virus is near invisible, identifying it readily is also far beyond the means of most, if not all, rank-and-file power grid employees.
Time is of the Essence
Perhaps the solution is for the private and public sectors to collaborate on security defense and data protection. Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, "He who fails to plan is planning to fail." When it comes to protecting our infrastructures (refineries, electrical generation, and water systems) - failure is not an option.
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