Cybersecurity: Protection From an Existential Threat

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From Cybercrime poses a potential existential threat to our society, and we’re completely unprepared:

Connecting our cars and pacemakers and planes and power grids to computers gives us access to computing power that was unimaginable decades ago.

But it also means that we have security threats that were unimaginable decades ago, which Goodman says is a potential existential threat to society, the sort of thing that needs to be a national priority as big as the space race or the Manhattan project.

The premise of this article is that the lack of cybersecurity around critical infrastructure and the increased prevalence of cybercrime poses an existential threat to society. Existential meaning “of or relating to existence.”

It’s a pretty bold statement. It’s also, based on the cross-section of companies and security experts I’ve talked to, a very real possibility.

Where I disagree with the article is the fact that we need some sort of Manhattan Project-type effort to solve the problem. As if developing a single nuclear-type weapon will be enough to prevent all cybercrime.

Those of us who’ve been in the industry for a couple of decades already know how to significantly reduce the risks. It doesn’t even require new technology, though some organizations will undoubtedly need to acquire some.

The one thing that it will surely require from all organizations and all persons is applied effort. And sadly, the only way I see the majority committing to that is for a nuclear-type event to occur. Only, it will be much more harmful than Trinity was.

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