Today, everyone and everything exists in a complex global web of interconnected technologies that effortlessly span oceans and the highest mountains. This interconnection allows massive amounts of information of all sorts to flow from person to person, organization to organization, over vast distances in the blink of an eye, regardless of barriers whether natural, or mere lines drawn on a map. The sheer size of this web that includes every business, every service, every government – local or national and its military, every academic or financial institution, every family and citizen connected around the clock, for work, learning, and play, 24/7, boggles the imagination.
There have been no real disruptions, to make us realize how much we take for granted, and yet the concern is there. What if some part of the whole network went down for an extended length of time? How many billions of dollars would be lost? What economic disasters might ensue? Could the click of a mouse ignite a war? If hackers are able to successfully break into a secure government network just for the challenge, how can we insulate ourselves from hackers with generous resources from foes with the mal-intent and technical savvy to search out obscure vulnerable spots and attack them?
Ultimately, security is about the very real ability of small groups and individuals with an agenda to use the world wide network as the means of causing major disruptions, whether for economic gain, economic warfare, or political advantage/power; it’s about individuals or groups with enough technical ability to do something with the potential to disrupt the stability of a country, or damage its international relationships. So, what efforts are being mounted by nations to keep cyber terrorists and chaos minded hackers from seeking out and targeting the weak links, backdoors, and vulnerabilities of our borders and infrastructure? If nations all face these same threats together, what cooperation can we expect from friends and neighbors? Can we ever hope to beat cyber terrorists and other hackers at their own game? How prepared are we for a day we should all hope, will never come?
Listen in on October 12th 2011, on CIO Talk Radio, for a discussion with Alma Cole, Director, DHS Security Operations Center (SOC), US CBP, and Robert Dick, Director General, of the National Cyber Security Directorate, Public Safety Canada for their take on Secure Government and International Borders.