Business Week has a nice article on how the US is falling behind in cyber security. It’s remarkably apropos after a couple high profile security stories earlier this year: computers on the International Space Station and an Iranian IT worker was executed after being found out as a spy. Are there viruses on US government computers on land? Do we have spies working in our governmental IT department? The answer to both questions is likely yes, so what are we doing about it?
Computers are used for everything! Unfortunately, America is falling behind in security research and, more importantly, countermeasures. I am glad to see the recommendations for President-Elect Obama; I just hope Obama takes the threat to heart and hardens America’s cyber security. If we do not, no amount of firepower will protect us from attackers controlling our computers that are controlling the bombs.
Michael Masnick over at Techdirt pointed at that everyone knows we need better security and asks what we should do? To start, fund serious research into security. Establish courses on security in schools nationwide so that students can keep up with trends, and learn how to do things properly. Next, allow hobbyists a way to polish their skills within fear of being thrown in jail. Increase the number of jobs in cyber security and take cyber threats seriously. With the education in place and the government in line, we need to harden individuals machines. The government can (help) develop and promote helpful software: firewalls, antivirus, antispam, and intrusion protection applications. Allow Microsoft a one-time ability to patch all users systems and subsidize the operation if need be. Finally, increase the punishment for people operate outside the framework or who pass the buck (posting links to infected sites).