The Next Big Threat: Cyberterrorism

It should not come as a surprise that cybercrime is becoming a huge epidemic. Today it is hard to find really anything that is not digitalized, which can have both positive and negative outcomes. Having personal information in a digital format allows people to be more susceptible of being a victim of cybercrime. The United States and the rest of the world have come a long way in trying to defend their citizens from cyberattacks. Recently there have been stories on the news about hackers getting information about federal employees. It is scary to know that millions of federal employee’s information could have been stolen as a result from the hack. After hearing about this incident, it is important for the United States government to become more proactive in the fight against cybercrime. Some of the past attacks that have occurred in the United States have been minor compared to the scale of what could happen. There could be a cyberattack that could completely shut down the United States critical infrastructure, such as power grids, water, transportation systems, and etc.

Former CIA counter-intelligence director, Barry Royden is not a stranger to cybercrime, or cyberterrorism as he refers to the topic. Royden, who was interview by John Hayward on Breitbart, stated that the threat of cyberterrorism is “pervasive, evasive, and so damned invasive that, sooner or later, someone will give into temptation, pull the trigger, and unleash chaos.” With the advancement of today’s technology it is crucial for the United States government to come up with any preventive strategies against cyberterrorism. With this being said the government itself have been the target of cyberterrorism, including the State Department and even the White House. Unfortunately there is currently no way to be 100% protected from cyberattacks. The only protection we have today according to Royden are “firewalls, but every firewall is potentially defeatable.” Typically with cyberterrorism there is no warning about what is going to happen, meaning that a cyberattack typically happens out of nowhere. That is the scary thing about everything being digitalized. I get that we live in a digital world now, but if we want to protect ourselves from having crucial information stolen or critical infrastructures being targeted, the government must have a more proactive approach to this topic. Technology is only going to keep on advancing, so if nothing is done now to prevent cyberterrorism, then the attacks are only just going to harm us even more.

As mentioned previously, a country’s critical infrastructure is a vulnerable target. In Holly Ellyatt’s article who writes for CNBC, interviewee Eugene Kaspersky states “there are concerns that the next big attack will be against national critical infrastructure and could cripple a country’s ability to function.” In order to protect the United States from a major critical infrastructure attack, we need to look at previous hacking jobs and learn from them. The U.S. government can only learn from their previous security downfalls to better prepare for future cyberattacks. Kaspersky recommends “that governments needed to allocate a good part of their budgets over the next decade to making critical infrastructure systems more secure.” Cyberterrorism is a rising threat to the United States and around the world since an attack can originate in one country and occur in another. Research and resources are benefactors to understanding past incidents and protecting all countries from future attacks as a result of cyberterrorism.

Hayword, J. (2015, May 20). Cyberterrorism is the next ‘big threat,’ says former CIA chief. Breitbart. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/20/cyberterrorism-is-the-next-big-threat-says-former-cia-chief/

Ellyatt, H. (2015, January 27). Cyberterrorists to target critical infrastructure. CNBC. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/01/27/cyberterrorists-to-target-critical-infrastructure.html

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