– The attacks are real, stealthy, persistent, and can devastate our nation.
– Cyber attacks occur at the speed of light, are global, can come from anywhere, and can penetrate our traditional defenses.
– In the event of a major cyber attack, what could we expect? Department off Defense networks collapsing, oil refinery fires, lethal clouds of gas from chemical plants, the financial systems collapsing with no idea of who owns what, pipeliness of natural gas exploding, trains and subways derailed, a nationwide blackout. This is not science fiction scenarios. (Adapted from Richard Clark, former Senior Advisor of Cyber Security)
– It is not a matter of if, but whena Cyber Pearl Harbor will occur. We have been fortunate [so far]. (Adapted from General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA).
I believe we must address these threats and our vulnerabilities in at least five main ways:
1) Increase research and developmentfor new tools and techniques–both defensive and offensive–for fighting cyberwar.
2) Establish a regulatory frameworkwith meaningful incentives and disincentives to significantly tighten cybersecurity across our critical infrastructure.
3) Create a cybersecurity corpsof highly trained and experienced personnel with expertise in both the strategic and operational aspects of cybersecurity.
4) Prepare nationwide contingency plansfor the fallout of a cyberwar, if and when it should occur.
5) Create a clear policyfor preventing cyberattacks by taking preemptive action when their is a known threat as well as for responding with devastating force when attacks do occur.
With cyberwar, just as in conventional war, there is no way to guarantee we will not be attacked, but we must prepare with the same commitment and zeal–because the consequences can be just, if not more, deadly.