Cyber security should be the next frontier for defence
Allegations of GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) penetration of Western cyber systems propels warfare into a new dimension. It graphically illustrates that a perpetual race is in full swing between intruder and defender. The digitisation of society has created progress and empowerment. But it also has a dark side — cyber crime and cyber warfare. There is concern that while there is something of a digital equilibrium between cyber superpowers based on the assumption sinister intrusions will result in retaliation, some state-sponsored attacks are willing to cause serious damage.
Over the past four years, financial hacking has wiped out $55 billion in shareholder value. Experts are predicting that the next mega global financial crisis could be triggered by a multipronged cyber attack. Many attacks are the direct result of human behaviour and poor management. The next major cyber assault could develop into a trillion dollar meltdown. According to industry estimates, global instititions take a hit of about $400 billion a year because of cyber attacks. At this pace, the losses could mount to a total to $6 trillion by 2022.
The global cost of cyberhacking is roughly $400 billion a year with the loss of 500,00 jobs. A former cyber head of the UK’s MI5 said, “There a now three certainties in life: death, taxes and foreign intelligence service in your system.”
In 2015, one of the major banks in the US was hacked by a well-planned cyber attack, and personal information of about 83 million customers was compromised.
Many unreported attacks have been merely testing of defences. A wellplanned, cyber blitzkrieg could economically paralyse our modern world which is totally independent on technology.
Over the past decade, there has been frightening progress in the field of information technology. Cyber hackers have broken into systems once considered impregnable and secure from intrusion. The next event that rattles the world could be a sophisticated 911 mega cyber attack. The writer is a KT reader based in Johannesburg, South Africa