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Cyber Security in 2013: How Vulnerable to Attack Is U.s. Now?

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cyberwarfare student

Students learn how to both attack and defend computer networks in a class on cyberwarfare at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt.

Credit: Norwich University / AP

Last year offered many unsettling revelations for businesses, individuals, and U.S. government officials concerned about their vulnerability to cyberattack. Hackers launched offensives that took aim at a wide range of targets, including ordinary citizens' financial information, bank Web sites, critical infrastructure, and important federal agencies. "The cyberthreat facing the nation has finally been brought to public attention," says the Center for Strategic and International Studies' James Lewis. However, he noted there is more befuddlement than clarity on the subject of cybersecurity, and cultivation of the skills to discuss cybersecurity is progressing at a slower pace than hoped.

Although there are many cyberthreat sources, the U.S. Pentagon is chiefly concentrating on the growing cyberwarfare capabilities of China, Russia, and Iran. Adding to the challenge of shoring up defenses is the multitude of cyberattackers with diverse motivations and targets. Meanwhile, the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit reports that at a corporate level, cyberattacks could potentially generate liabilities and losses of sufficient size to bankrupt most companies.

Meanwhile, awareness of cyberthreats is on the rise, with a Central Intelligence Agency cybersecurity index estimating that corporate chief information security officers reported a 50 percent increase in the "measure of perceived risk" since March 2011.

From The Christian Science Monitor 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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