What We’re Reading this Week
According to the Verizon Data Breach Report there was a significant increase in the number of cyber-attacks in 2012. Despite massive investments in cybersecurity, this increase is further proof of the expanding detection gap and underscores the great need for fundamental and far-reaching change. These startling numbers illustrate increasing danger, not only to enterprise organizations, but also to industrial giants, governments and countries alike. Fortunately, we have seen a marked shift in the response from Washington and government entities around the world. Cyber security is on the tip of everyone’s tongues, from President Obama listing it as a top priority in Chinese relations to the President of Estonia penning a cybersecurity op-ed in the New York Times. With that, we bring you CounterTack’s first weekly news bulletin. In these bulletins, we’ll look back at the week to highlight and analyze key headlines, trends and developments across the information security industry that caught our attention:
Major, highly publicized attacks in 2012 – from NBC to LinkedIn – spurred many lawmakers (Republicans and Democrats alike) into action as they sought new ways to protect companies from increasingly sophisticated attackers. So it’s not surprising that lobbying activity on cyber security also surged by nearly 50 percent in 2012. Julianne Pepitone of CNN Money, reports that “a total of 1,968 lobbying reports mentioned the word ‘cybersecurity’ (or variations of the term) several times in 2012.” That's up from just 990 reports in 2011. She also notes that part of the reason lobbying spiked last year is that cyber security has proven to be a bipartisan issue, capturing the attention of a wide variety of lawmakers. And rightly so – the stakes have never been higher. Take, for example, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), just passed by the House of Representatives this week. Approximately 270 enterprise organizations filed lobbying documents on CISPA since its introduction last year.
Air Force General Robert Kehler was recently quoted as saying, “Lock your doors. Someone from halfway around the world is trying to get into your network looking to steal what you are developing.”
The government estimates that American businesses have lost more than $400 billion to cyber attackers, and U.S. intelligence officials recently indicated that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the number one security threat facing the United States today.
This week, President Obama proposed increased spending to protect U.S. organizations and networks from cyber attacks by nearly 21 percent for 2014 – or $4.7 billion. According to Reuter’s Andy Sullivan, this is a sign that “the government aims to put more resources into the emerging global cyber arms race.”
The final article of our bulletin this week is from Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the current President of Estonia. Back in 2007, Estonia was potentially the first publicly known target of a politically motivated cyber attack, and has been ahead of the game ever since. In this op-ed for the New York Times, Ilves offers his unique perspective as a leader in both politics and the unified global effort against cyber attacks. We encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read this fascinating piece, but here’s one section that particularly stood out:
“Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously by everyone. We continue to think of cyberthreats in military or classical warfare terms, when in fact cyber can simply render the military paradigm irrelevant. The whole information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure must be regarded as an ‘ecosystem’ in which everything is interconnected. It functions as a whole; it must be defended as a whole.”