Biggest Threat to Security: China?
With a crippling cold front hammering the United States and the Northeast seeing record snowfall in November, most companies are turning their attention to protecting their businesses and information in case of a natural disaster. However, disturbing news broke this week that the biggest threat facing businesses and our way of life in general will most likely come from another country.
The head of the NSA admitted that China now has the ability to shut down at the very minimum part of the United States through a cyberattack if it chose to do so. Admiral Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said he believes China—and maybe some other countries—already have the ability to launch a cyberattack on the United States that would cripple our electrical grid, according to published news reports.
That is a scary thought on many levels. First, unlike a natural disaster, for which companies can prepare to a degree, a cyberattack is stealth and sudden. It comes without warning, and by the time anyone can figure out what is going on, the damage has been done.
Rogers, who made his remarks to the House Intelligence Committee, stated the threat was “so real.” This is a revelation. The U.S. government has leaked info in the past that it believes other countries—notably China—has tried hacking into our systems, but never has it admitted it so publicly. He even said that such an attack could impact control systems that run necessary infrastructure operations, including chemical facilities and water treatment plants.
Now as a solution provider, there isn't much you can do to protect our nation’s infrastructure (unless you have a contract with the government). However, you can use this as an opportunity to shore up the storage, backup and disaster recovery strategies of your customers so their business is protected and can recover quickly.
This means re-evaluating everything your customers are currently doing. It means making sure all their devices and systems are secure—from endpoint to mobile to the Web. It means not only helping them move mission-critical functions to the cloud but also working with them on protocols and processes to ensure a smooth transition.
I recently moderated a webcast with Webroot Director of Product Marketing George Anderson who said security breaches increased dramatically in 2014 and he expects that trend to continue well through 2015. While we never know where the next attack will come from, solution providers need to communicate effectively the importance of protecting their customers at all levels.
It’s a scary world out there but solution providers can make it less frightening.
Knock 'em alive!