If I was a talented artist, and I’m not, I’d create an illustration of Uncle Sam sitting in front of a monitor – or maybe holding a smartphone – with the saying, “America Needs You in the War on Cyber Terror.” More and more the government is focusing on that fight.
The government has stepped up the fight by holding mock cyber-terrorist attacks. Maybe it’s something your organization should be doing. Are you doing enough to fight potential cyberterrorism?
According to USA Today, “In a small hotel meeting room a few blocks from the White House, employees from power plants, factories, airports and oil refineries hunched over their laptops as they worked frantically to stop cyber terrorists from firing a rocket launcher into the heart of a picturesque American town.”
The story continued, “It was just a training drill with pretend hackers and a model ‘cyber city’ made of plastic and wood. But, for the participants, the lesson zeroed in on a threat that is becoming increasingly real.
“While the nation has focused on the dramatic cyber attack against Sony Pictures and the recent hacking of Target and Home Depot, cybersecurity experts say the greater danger is that terrorists will go after the nation’s critical infrastructure — its airports, water treatment plants, power companies, oil refineries and chemical plants.”
U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said cyber attacks will be “the warfare of the future. Just think what could happen down the future if North Korea wanted to knock out a grid system, an energy system, knock out air traffic control,” he said during a Dec. 22 interview on CNN.
The US House of Representatives has passed the Critical Infrastructure Act, which is designed to fight cyberterrorism against which would better secure critical infrastructure against electromagnetic pulses, or EMP, according to HSToday.com. No action has been taken by the Senate on the legislation.
“Today, with the passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, we are one step closer to protecting America from one of the potentially more serious short term national security threats we face,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), a ranking Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, said, emphasizing, “Anyone who has tried to feed their family or keep their children warm after the power has gone out will understand why this act is so crucially important.”
One Senate bill that failed was the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. It would have encouraged businesses, according to USA Today, “to voluntarily share information about cyber attacks with the government by giving them protection from lawsuits and antitrust actions if they disclose when they’ve been hacked and provide details of the attacks.”
President Obama has pushed for the revitalization of the bill in the wake of the Sony hacking. According to ZDNet.com, “President Obama said athis end-of-year press conference on Friday that he had a ‘cyber agency team look at everything we could do at the government level to prevent these kinds of attacks. We have been correlating with the private sector but a lot more needs to be done,” before adding, “he hoped Congress will in the new year work on ‘stronger cybersecurity laws that allow for information sharing across private sector platforms as well as the public sector.’”
What do you think? What needs to be done to improve the fight against cyberterrorism in the United States? Is the federal government doing too much or too little? Feel free to comment below.