Cybersecurity has been getting a lot of attention in recent years after a number of corporations and government websites have undergone security breaches. In fact, Congress is even weighing the idea of cybersecurity legislation in an effort to prevent against cyber warfare.
Jerry Brito, however, who is the Director of the Technology Policy Program at George Mason University, believes that the hype is overblown. He has studied the area extensively but told us that, while there is a very real threat in cybersecurity, the concerns that the government is suggesting are exaggerated.
As he explained, some government officials have equated the current threats to Pearl Harbor or September 11, 2001, which he believes is misleading based on the evidence. According to him, the cyber threats that would have a catastrophic impact like 9/11 did are few and far between. Although the others, namely distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and cyber espionage, are harmful, Brito said they do not lead to mass casualties.
For this reason, he told us that legislation that would require companies to secure their networks based on a government standard is not needed. He said companies are aware of the threats that exist and are capable of protecting themselves.
Brito did point out that he would like to see the barriers broken down that would allow companies and the federal government to share information with one another in a way that would maintain consumer privacy protections.
How big of a threat is cyber warfare to you? What do you think?