After the 9/11 attacks, the foremost question in United States was whether or not it should establish a domestic intelligence agency like that of the British MI-5. At that time, the US was the only Western country without such an organization. The importance of cybersecurity cannot be underestimated especially with the global trade and the use of information technology making its rapid diffusion introduce as well new risks. Modern economies are increasingly reliant on their IT infrastructure for almost every aspect of operation and the interdependence of systems.
In the US, directives from the Executive Branch and the Congress regulate cybersecurity. A unifying body called the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) was made as a national nexus for communications integration to serve the law enforcement, the intelligence community and the Federal Government. It is an active organization with 24×7 cyber awareness, management and incident response.
The main purpose of cybersecurity is for domestic companies and organizations to protect their systems as well as their information from the likes of worms, Trojan horses, phishing, unauthorized access, denial of service (DOS) attacks, viruses and control system attacks.
Points of vulnerability
Recently, there were top three cyber threats that were identified by the Information Security Forum (ISF). These includes the BYOD trend, or “bring your own device”. Steve Durbin, the Global VP of ISF stated that the risks are both internal and external threats, including external manipulation of software vulnerabilities, mismanagement of the device, and poor deployment of unreliable business applications. The second threat is the weak data privacy in the cloud. Some clouds are more vulnerable than others. The third biggest threat is Cyber crime. Durbin writes that the cyber space is an increasingly attractive ground for criminals, activists and terrorists alike, motivated to get noticed, make money, cause disruption or topple down corporations and governments.
All these threats are constantly evolving every day. As the IT infrastructure gets more sophisticated, the threats get bigger and organizations have to keep speed with their security systems to evolve at the same pace. Cyber-security at the moment includes anti-virus software, intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and encryption of login passwords. Both federal and state governments in the US develop cybersecurity through constant regulation and collaboration between government and private companies for voluntary cybersecurity improvements.
More security but less liberty and lack of legislation
As the US domestic intelligence system grows more, as demonstrated by numerous foiled terrorist plans especially in America notably since 9/11, citizens are also getting more wary with its intrusiveness into civic lives. An active Domestic Intelligence Agency is always at the cost of increasing domestic surveillance and consequently the risk of civil liberties. A thorough investigation into the body of US intelligence and counterterrorism conducted by The Washington Post revealed that it is a Top Secret America, which is hidden from the public and dangerously lacking in thorough oversight. Washington Post disclosed that there are at least 854,000 people who hold top secret security clearances. Added to this, at least 263 government agencies and organizations, which had been just created or reorganized consequently from the 9/11 attack.
The lack of popular support for programs to increase security could also have paved way for the lack of local grants for cybersecurity framework adoption, where local operators of critical infrastructure can’t foster adoption to a cybersecurity framework recently released by the government. The Congress has to approve its legislation, so although homeland security grants include cybersecurity projects, there’s still a lot that would have to be done through legislation.
Despite congressional limitations, cybersecurity is always a priority with Four Cornerstone. We offer Oracle consulting in Dallas, which has extensive strategies for the security of your business. Contact us now!
Photo by Blue Coat Photos.