Cybersecurity: Playing Defense and Offense on the net and the Economy

In the early years of cyberattacks, organizations would wait to be attacked before they developed a thorough plan and reaction to the attacker. The attack would render the organizations’ network presence useless and down for days. Several reasons cyberattacks could severely cripple a network in the first days of this malicious behavior aren’t enough concentrated research on defending and preventing and having less a coordinated effort between private industry and the government.

Since the first well known and wide spread cyberattack in the mid-1990’s, many professionals in public areas and private organizations have diligently been studying and working on the problem of cyberattacks. Initially security companies like Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, etc. approached the issue from a reactive posture. They knew hackers/malicious attackers were going to strike. The goal of what’s now called Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) was to detect a malicious attacker before an anti-virus, Trojan horse, or worm was used to strike. If the attacker was able to strike the network, security professionals would dissect the code. After the code was dissected, a response or “fix” was applied to the infected machine(s). The “fix” is currently called a signature and they are consistently downloaded over the network as weekly updates to guard against known attacks. formation cybers√©curit√© Although IDS is a wait and see posture, security professionals have gotten a lot more sophisticated in their approach and it continues to evolve as part of the arsenal.

Security professionals began looking at the problem from the preventive angle. This moved the cybersecurity industry from defensive to offensive mode. These were now troubleshooting preventing an attack on something or network. Predicated on this line of thinking, an Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) called Snort (2010) was soon introduced. Snort is really a combination IDS and IPS open source software available for FREE download. Using IDS/IPS software like Snort allows security professionals to be proactive in the cybersecurity arena. Though IPS allows security professionals to play offense along with defense, they do not rest on the laurels nor do they stop monitoring the task of malicious attackers which fuels creativity, imagination, and innovation. In addition, it allows security professionals that defend the cyberworld to remain equal or one step before attackers.

Cybersecurity also plays an offensive and defensive role in the economy. In its cybersecurity commercial, The University of Maryland University College (2012) states there will be “fifty-thousand jobs obtainable in cybersecurity over the next a decade.” The school has been running this commercial for more than two years. When the commercial first began running they quoted thirty-thousand jobs. They have obviously adjusted the forecast higher based upon studies in addition to the government and private industry identifying cybersecurity as a critical need to defend critical infrastructure.

Cybersecurity can play economic defense by protecting these jobs which cope with national security concerns and must remain the in america. The cybersecurity industry is driven by national security in the government realm and intellectual property (IP) in the private industry space. Many U.S. companies complain to the federal government about foreign countries hi-jacking their software ideas and inventions through state sponsored and organized crime hackers. Given that foreign countries condone state sponsored national security and intellectual property attacks, it could be to the advantage of companies to get human capital within the shores of america to perform the duties and tasks needed.

On the offensive side, Cybersecurity can spur development and increase the skill sets of residents in counties like Prince George’s County, Maryland which sits in the epicenter of Cybersecurity for hawaii of Maryland and the nation. Prince George’s Community College is the home of Cyberwatch and the central hub for cybersecurity training and best practices that gets pushed out to other community colleges that are part of the consortium. The goal of these community colleges would be to align the education offered to students with skills that companies say are essential to be “workforce ready.” It is also a rich recruiting ground for tech companies in the united states to recognize and hire human capital to put on leading lines of the U.S. fight in cybersecurity. As Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski (2012) says, the students are trained to be “cyberwarriors” and in turn workforce ready.