As a follow-up to my recent article Cyber War: Has It Begun?; my next question is: are we prepared to defend being attacked in a cyber war? The jury is still out on the question of how well we’re prepared. However, there is evidence that we’re headed in the right direction.
The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have been participating in cyber war exercises to measure national responses to a major cyber attack. The exercises, organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and dubbed Cyber Storm I and II; contained scenarios where anti-globalization activists paralyzed U.S. and Canadian computer systems by cutting power supplies, and disrupting ports and airlines, and compromising intelligence communications. Cyber Storm III will be held in the near future. These exercises are evidence of how seriously these countries take the threat of cyber warfare. See The New New Internet’s article Australia Unleashes ‘Cyber Storm’ in Preparation of Cyber Attack for more details.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has taken a positive step forward in preparing to defend against cyber war in organizing these exercises. However, the next step will be to take the results of the tests and use them to correct deficiencies uncovered and to implement solutions and improvements—quickly. The bottom line to these electronic war games is: we must be able to detect attacks early and defend our countries against this threat. Hopefully, that’s the end-game to these war games. Stay tuned.
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