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Cyber Security: How do we protect ourselves?

One day, as I was casually watching the News, A headline popped up, “Sony Got Hacked, Millions of Workers at Sony got their personal Info Stolen” This is the first I heard of the Attack. I thought, “How could that Happen?” Around thanksgiving of 2014 The Interview, a movie about a dictator in North Korea, was about to be released from Sony. North Korea didn’t want it playing in the theaters and vowed for the vengeance by stealing valuable documents. Meanwhile, The FBI was waiting and investigating for the attack to happen. The citizens were thinking how the North Koreans would get us back. Later after thanksgiving, the North Koreans hacked into the Sony Picture Server and got valuable documents like the movie release dates and the personal information of the celebrities. (http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30512032)

Every week or two a report about cybersecurity seem to appear in the paper. Cybersecurity would help prevent cyber-attacks like Sony Picture attack from happening. U.S Senator Arlen Specter said in a crowd full of people, “The fundamental purpose of the government is to protect its citizens” America’s top priority is to protect our citizens by proactively striking down cybercrimes or as we like to call it cyber-security. According the Pew Research Center, it states that there has been increase in the cyber-attacks from 2001 to 2014. (http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/29/cyber-attacks-likely-to-increase/)

But how can we decrease Cyberattacks? First, we need to understand the background to cybercrime. Second, we need to understand the problem with cybercrimes. Third, the citizens of the United States need to take preventative measures to stop these cyber-attacks. Fourth organizations need to collaborate to stop cyber-attacks and threats.

My first point is understanding the background of Cybercrimes, which includes the definitions, the expense, and the link between cyber-security and national security. Cyberspace is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “The Online World of Computer networks and especially the Internet” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cyberspace) cyberspace covers the whole internet Cybersecurity is defined by Tech Target as “body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In a computing context, the term ‘security’ implies cybersecurity.” (http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/cybersecurity)The best way to prevent cybercrimes is by protecting networks, computers, programs, and last but not least, data from attack. As a result, cyberspace is big enough that it is hard to protect all the servers and data, which makes cybersecurity difficult. Even though cyber-security is hard to accomplish, we must protect our nation, because cybercrimes cost us a lot of money.

According to the Economist magazine, “A recent estimate by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think-tank, puts the annual global cost of digital crime and intellectual property theft at $445 billion—a sum roughly equivalent to the GDP of a smallish rich European country such as Austria.” (http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21606416-companies-markets-and-countries-are-increasingly-under-attack-cyber-criminals)

Not only are Cyber-crimes costly and difficult to stop, they threaten our national security. Heritage Foundation discovered this, “Governments, businesses and individuals are under attack from other governments, cyber-criminals, and “hacktivists”. These attacks steal hundreds of billions of dollars in personal and business data and compromise sensitive government operations.” (http://www.heritage.org/issues/national-security-and-defense/cyber-security) the government needs to view cybercrimes as important to national security as Electronic waste and climate change

As we have seen the background of cybercrimes, we need to understand the problems of cybercrimes. First, Invasions of professional hackers, In Addition to hackers invading people, hackers are trying to sabotage people’s servers, and last but least, Stealing individual’s identity which is the highest priority and needs to be stopped.

Recently, ISIS has carried out multiple attacks in Europe, but why is this? Well, This Terrorist Group could be using a proactive method of Cyber-sabotage to the servers that track and alert the Secret Intelligence about the Terror Attack. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) are building viruses that can wipe away servers which is known as “Electronic Jihad.” They are taking this “Electronic Jihad” to the next level to defeat America.

Without Cybersecurity, ISIS could and will be predominately in control of the government electronically and will strip the citizens’ right to privacy to the bare minimum. Economist affirmed this Suspicion by saying, “Terrorist or Agents of Hostile powers could mount attacks on companies and systems that control vital parts of an economy. Such attacks are hard to pull off, but not impossible.” ( http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21606416-companies-markets-and-countries-are-increasingly-under-attack-cyber-criminals)

Not only ISIS is trying to take government’s servers, Hackers are stealing people’s identities also. According to CNN Money, Every 2 seconds a person has their identity stolen. (http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/06/pf/identity-fraud/) By the time I finish this speech, 300 people will have their identity taken away. Identity theft needs to be stopped. Also Forty seven percent of adults of the United States have some form of personal information taken. ((http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/28/technology/security/hack-data-breach/))

Third, we will be looking into the preventive measures to stop someone from doing a cybercrime. We need to get cyber-serious which we can be done by the three pillar solution: Strong Cyber Allies, Strong Cyber Leaders, and Strong Cyber Citizens.

The first pillar to rest on is strong allies that are committed to freedom, prosperity and security to combat cybercrimes, (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/time-for-america-to-get-cyber-serious) the most important aspect to stop cybercrimes is to form strong allies that will to help strengthen our cyber-security and not cyber-attack the U.S. For Example, WSJ reported that British Officials and other private companies are joining the Cyberwar game to prep them to fight against the Cyberattacks. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-agencies-conduct-cyber-war-games-1436069213)

Second pillar to rest on is strong leaders. Strong leaders need to train people in cybercrimes so that they can help prevent them. Educating people is the best thing preventive measures to use because it helps them to be qualified to be a great cyber leader. (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/time-for-america-to-get-cyber-serious)

The final pillar that we need to rest on is Strong Cyber Citizens. If the Cyber Citizens increase their individual security practices, they will not fall victim to viruses or malware on the computer. Another preventive Measure is securing computers. Updating our computers should be not only a priority but a top priority. Next thing that you need to do to securing your computer is have antivirus software like Windows defender to detect, remove, and protect your machines, network malware. After you install the Antivirus software, you need to run scan to check if you have any viruses on your computer. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2013/08/28/how-to-prevent-cyber-crime/)

Strong Allies, Strong leaders, and cyber citizens can protect our nation from hacks on computer to saving a person’s life from being invaded by cybercriminals. (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/time-for-america-to-get-cyber-serious

Lastly, Since we can’t stop cyber-attacks from happening, then organizations need to collaborate to help the cyberattacks to cease.

First, the FBI, the FBI has Internships for people who want to help in the cyber-division; they need to update their computers so that it wouldn’t be vulnerable to the cyberattacks and alerting people when they got hacked. (https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/cyber-security-enhancing-coordination-to-protect-the-financial-sector)

In Addition to the FBI, Life-lock is preventing identities being stolen, they have a catchphrase which is detect, alert and finally restore. Another Organization is Energy Companies, according to WSJ, Energy Companies are joining a pentagon cyberwar exercise that will help to prepare them to fight against the Cyber-attacks.

Not Only is the FBI, Lifelock and the Energy companies are preventing Cyber-attacks, but OPM (Office of Personnel Management) is also preventing it. OPM is educating the people by informing the citizens to change the passwords, be aware of phishing, and review and scan your computer. In addition to OPM informing the citizens, OPM is supporting the people, who got cyber-attacked, by notifying them, offering Free Services. Not Only does OPM Inform and Support people, OPM is continuing to strengthen cyber defense at OPM and across the federal Government. OPM are doing a thirty day cyber sprint to help fight against the Cyberattacks. (https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity/) All of these organizations are just a few that try to stop cyber attacks and threats.

In Conclusion, We looked at 4 main points, First we looked into the Background of Cyber Crimes. Second we discovered the Problems with Cybercrimes. Third, we understand that our role to stop the cyberattack is to take some security measures to protect our computer. Fourth, If we can’t solve the cyberattacks, organizations can solve.

Bibliography

BBC News, “The Interview: A guide to the Cyber Attack on Hollywood” >http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30512032< Date published: December 29, 2014; date Accessed: June 13,2015

Brainy Quote, Specter, U.S Senator Arlen <http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=protect+the+citizens< date Accessed 7/13/15

Merriam Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cyberspace. Date Accessed 7/13/15

What Is, Tech Target definition on Cybersecurity. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/cybersecurity. date Accessed 7/13/15

The Economist Magazine, “Defending the Digital frontier” Date Published Jul 12th 2014 Website: (http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21606416-companies-markets-and-countries-are-increasingly-under-attack-cyber-criminals) Date Accessed June 29, 2015

Office of Personnel Management, cybercrime division, https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity/ date accessed 7/13/15

Ellis, Blake, CNN Money Article, “Identity Theft Hits new victim every two seconds” date Published Feb. 6, 2014, Website: (http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/06/pf/identity-fraud/) Date Accessed 7/13/15

Pagliery, Jose, CNN-money article, “Half the Americans Adults hacked this year” date published May 28, 2014 (http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/28/technology/security/hack-data-breach/) Date Accessed 7/13/15

Carafano and Rosenzweig, James and Paul, “Time for America to get Cyber Serious” Date Published May 16, 2011 (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/time-for-america-to-get-cyber-serious) Date Accessed 6/29/15

Forbes, How to Prevent Cyber-Crime Date Published 8/28/2013 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2013/08/28/how-to-prevent-cyber-crime/)Date accessed 6/29/15

Demarest, Joseph M. “Statement before the senate committee on banking, housing, and urban Affairs Washington, D.C., Date Published December 10, 2014 (https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/cyber-security-enhancing-coordination-to-protect-the-financial-sector) Date Accessed 6/29/15


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