Cybersecurity: Playing Defense and Offense in Cyberspace and the Economy

In the early years of cyberattacks, organizations would wait to be attacked before they developed a thorough plan and response 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 endemic cyberattack in the mid-1990’s, many professionals in public and private organizations have diligently been studying and focusing on the issue 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 could 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 on the network as weekly updates to defend against known attacks. Although IDS is a wait and see posture, security professionals have gotten much more sophisticated in their approach also 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. They were now troubleshooting preventing an attack on something or network. Predicated on this type of thinking, an Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) called Snort (2010) was soon introduced. Snort is 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 as well as defense, they don’t rest on their 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 ahead of attackers.

Cybersecurity also plays an offensive and defensive role throughout the market. In its cybersecurity commercial, The University of Maryland University College (2012) states you will have “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 as well as the government and private industry identifying cybersecurity as a crucial need to defend critical infrastructure.

Cybersecurity can play economic defense by protecting these jobs which deal with national security concerns and must remain the in the usa. 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 government about foreign countries hi-jacking their software ideas and inventions through state sponsored and organized crime hackers. formation cybersécurité Considering that foreign countries condone state sponsored national security and intellectual property attacks, it could be to the benefit of companies to get human capital within the shores of america to execute 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 the state of Maryland and the country. 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 is to align the education offered to students with skills that companies say are needed to be “workforce ready.” Additionally it is a rich recruiting ground for tech companies in the united states to identify 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.

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