The Cyber Domain: Five Ways to Frame the Security Policy Discussion
- by: Stephen Recca, M.A., University Program Director, Homeland Security and Bruce Harmon, Ph.D., University Program Chair, Computer Science
- Computer-Science, Criminal-Justice, Engineering, Homeland-Security, Information-Technology
In August 2010, the international pedophile ring Dreamboard was shut down and 52 arrests were made after a worldwide investigation led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. With about 600 members, the invitation-only website is believed to have distributed 123 terabytes of child pornography. It was the biggest prosecution by the U.S. of child pornographers.
In May 2011, the Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed the existence of the Blue Army, a team of 30 elite Internet specialists officially said to be protecting the People's Liberation Army from cyber attacks. Many worry, however that the unit has been used to hack foreign government systems.
In March 2012, between 50,000 and 10 million credit card holders were put at risk of fraudulent charges when third-party processor Global Payments was hacked.
The last decade has introduced a myriad of technological advances, forcing a sea of change upon the world with many positive implications. But for all the positives, there’s a dark side to the rapidly evolving cyber world, and these three examples just touch on its scope. There’s been a simultaneous emergence of cyber threats and crimes that pose a significant risk to individuals, businesses and governments.
The combination of advancing technology and criminal sophistication makes the cyber realm a critical domain where public and private sector entities must come together to develop a defensive strategy. Of course that’s no small challenge. As quickly as technology changes, so do the threats. Yet, the development of a coherent national policy for the cyber domain is slow. It cannot keep up with the rapid growth of technology and this creates challenges in how to best manage cybersecurity issues.
The onus is on security and technology professionals, current and future, to shape the nation’s policy on cybersecurity. This involves increasing our collective understanding of the cyber domain and doing more than merely identifying future challenges, but also developing creative solutions to resolve them. Continue reading…