Fighting the rapid rise of cyber warfare in a changing world
Security experts have learned many lessons from 2016 about how cyber warfare not only impacts elections but also has the potential to disrupt everything from energy and education to government services and military operations. Whether it is nations such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, guerrilla groups, or rogue actors, the danger grows as our dependency on digital tools continues to rise.
There are a host of reasons for nation-states and international organizations to engage in cyber warfare with the goal of causing physical or economic harm. They may want to gain a competitive advantage by stealing strategic business plans; cause catastrophic damage with a tactical strike on a local utility; access data from state and local governments to disrupt crucial industries such as the military, aviation, and education; or lock up hospital information systems to hurt patient care.
Addressing these dangers is imperative for the public and private sectors, as evidenced by recent high-profile attacks, presumably by Russia, that impacted multiple government agencies and corporations. When cybersecurity firm FireEye discovered aggressors had made off with the company’s red-team tools designed to find vulnerabilities, it immediately set off an investigation. The company uncovered a critical vulnerability in SolarWinds’ Orion software. Because this software is used by many public agencies, it became frighteningly clear that a vast breach of US government networks had also occurred. This attack against corporations’ and government networks is now known as Sunburst.
Build Strong Ties to Fortify Against Dangerous Attacks
All of these examples point to the increasing sophistication and frequency of cyber threats directed at the government and corporate sectors. To stand a chance against these attacks, it is clear that a more robust collaboration is required between these two groups.
- Government agencies are not typically transparent due to concerns about national security, but intelligence exchanges help all stakeholders open conversations regarding threats and attacks to broaden the collective knowledge. For instance, while the SolarWinds damage is likely widespread, it could have gone much further if FireEye had not discovered and immediately shared it with government agencies and law enforcement.
To read the complete article, visit Dark Reading.