Cyber Security and its impact on the economy, technologies, and the military will captivate our innovative efforts for the next twenty years or more. There are so many challenges in each individual area that one cannot actually expect to address each one in detail and give it the respect it is due. However, I will attempt to draw out some discussion items of interest and let you decide which one is more important or are they equal to balancing each other on this topic. But first, let’s look at the definition according to Merriam – Webster, which states, “cybersecurity is measures taken to protect a computer or computer system (as on the Internet) against unauthorized access or attack. So how does that impact when we address the three topic areas of this discussion: economics, technologies, and the military.
First, let’s evaluate how cybersecurity is used in the economy. I have extensive knowledge working with computers, networks, systems, cybersecurity, software, and several years working in the financial process, so I feel I can give a fairly good analysis of how technology impacts the economy. I’ve done a personal study of how technology complements financial processes in the 21st century and how Cyber Security plays a huge part in the daily business of banks. From what I understand, companies can’t even get loans if they don’t have viable and active programs operating within their companies, believe it or not. This is to ensure that any financial or information transactions, in general, are guaranteed that, when transmitted by electronic means, are secure and non-repudiation from release to delivery. Encryption of all transactions is the norm for all business deposits, and withdraws from accounts along with all credit card transactions are encrypted. Everything within banking where transactions are digitized for business Cyber Security must be prevalent. But in order to make this work, you must have technology that is current and processes that work with the economy. This brings me to my second point, technology.
Technology is the foundation for Cyber Security, but you must have solid processes for them both to work effectively. You just can’t hook up your technology to a system and expect it to work, not knowing what process you expect as an end result or what process you want to effect in delivering Cyber Security. There are many technologies out there, ranging from hardware systems to software applications and even web services that can provide all sorts of Cyber Security needs for the user. The key to all this is understanding what the user needs, what information they want to protect, how they want to protect their information, who they want to have access to their information, how they want to give access to their information and by whom, and how do they want to monitor the security of their information. The list goes on and on from here for the user. The dynamics of setting up the foundation of the technology of Cyber Security can get pretty intense when you think about where you want to go with just this topic. All aspects I mentioned beforehand, such as hardware, software, and web services, can deliver all the requirements I stated above and more; however, it comes down to what the user wants and, ultimately, the cost. This leads me to my last point of this article, the military.
The military and Cyber Security is an area of great concern and innovation. It’s an area that is and only will be driven by the Defense Budget, which it looks like with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, will finally get its due. In the previous decade, this effort has been funded mostly out of baseline efforts since it’s difficult to justify information technology reductions while increasing the cost of Cyber Security acquisitions. This program has reached a level of importance where information on the Internet, unclassified network, or other networks used by the Federal Government and Department of Defense has become so critical to protect that funding has reached a high priority for the President. Our military is now engaged in unprecedented efforts to secure our unclassified and classified systems like never before to protect against malware, viruses, and exfiltrations so critical information will not end up with people or nation-states that could do us harm. Cyber Security is extremely important to all our weapons systems or any system where information is needed for a decision, and that is why it is now a top priority of our military. Information in the wrong hands could do any nation grave harm in today’s world.
In closing, Cyber Security is an evolution of a series of technologies that have grown together into a global phenomenon that will put information everywhere securely as long as we can pump bandwidth anywhere in the world. I once told a general that we’d achieve our goal when I can send you a signal while you are in an outhouse in the desert, and I’m in a cave in the Amazon jungle, sending you photos and emails. He laughed, but that was just a few years ago. I look back, and we’re beyond that point now.