Wrapping up: Cyber attacks, from theft, to disruption and now destruction
We’re wrapping up our 2013 Cybersecurity Summit. Video clips from the program will be posted throughout the day, and a full special report will be online Oct. 10.
Some takeaways from our speakers:
“Something like this will happen,” says former deputy secretary of defense William J. Lynn of Washington Post Live’s simulation cyber attack. “We’re seeing an escalation of the impact of cyber intrusions.”
Lynn recounts that the threat used to be theft of information and theft of money. “We’ve now moved up to disruption,” he says. “The third level is actual destruction. I think it’s reasonable to believe that we’re moving in that direction.”
Whether the actors are a dozen guys in flip flops with red bull getting stuff on eBay or terrorist groups, there’s a greater maliciousness, according to Lynn. “How long it’s going to take, when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen. Unclear.”
Lynn says the focus should veer toward how government improves its sharing, both within private and public sectors. “The threshold to gaining sophisticated destructive abilities is lower than it is in conventional military — similar in the sense of IT as a domain of warfare.”
Former deputy secretary of Homeland Security Jane Lute says the status quo is unacceptable. “If you think of the 93 member states of the United Nations, no two are handling this the same way … We need to take action. 80 to 90 percent of the critical infrastructure in this country is in private sector hands. When you think about power in cyberspace, it’s the power to connect, not the power to protect, that matters.”
Former National Intelligence General Counsel Ben Powell tells the audience we need to think about government’s role in cyberspace. “One question is how are we getting ahead of this in terms of indication and warning,” he says.
TASC Intelligence vice president Terry Roberts says “industry is the leading actor in this stage, where government’s role is in helping set the framework” — defining the skills needed and promoting private-public partnerships in those third party entities.”
Wrapping up our 2013 Cybersecurity Summit, Ronin Analytics president Mark Young adds, “In the United States, we invented the information age … We need to update our processes and infrastructure in the information age.”