There's Concern, but Where's the Action?

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Earlier this year, President Obama said that "the nation's digital infrastructure is under near constant attack."

That statement came on the heels of the head of the Pentagon's Strategic Command warning Congress that the United States is vulnerable to cyber attacks "across the spectrum." In mid-January of this year, outgoing National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said that "cyber security is the soft underbelly of this country," in a valedictory address to reporters.

He went as far to rate the problem as significant as that of Iran having developed a nuclear weapon. Earlier this year the FBI said it considers cyber attacks to be the third greatest threat to the security of the United States. The only two preceding it are nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

It isn't just the United States that is concerned about cyber attacks. Suleyman Anil of NATO said, "cyber defense is now mentioned at the highest level along with missile defense and energy security. We have seen more of these attacks and we don't think this problem will disappear soon. Unless globally supported measures are taken, it can become a global problem." In addition, UK Security Minister Lord West issued a warning that al Qaida is planning on launching a cyber attack against the power grid, financial systems and the government.

A number of non-classified reports have found that our nation is at risk of being unable to fight off cyber attacks unless we strengthen cyber security. A significant amount of information pertaining to these attacks is classified. Disclosure of this information could cause SERIOUS DAMAGE to national security or foreign relations. That is why more information about these threats and events are not public.

Too often people fail to understand the potential risk and sensitivities needed to deal with cyber attacks.

Those individuals conducting classified work and dealing with and responding to breaches and attacks all agree, the magnitude of this threat ranks among the most severe threats to our national security. So with all these people who are "in the know" warning about this threat, why is it that there is still a moderate amount of people who do not believe it and call it fear mongering.

-- Kevin Coleman

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