Attacks on Vital Infrastructure: Are Nations Prepared to Avert Catastrophes?
September 01, 2016 | Critical Infrastructure, Digital War, Cyber Vulnerability
Information technology has significantly transformed the world. Today, it plays a big part in our lives, allowing us to streamline our everyday activities. It also has a significant role in nation-building. The progress of any nation today not just depends upon on natural resources and better managed institutions but also on how widespread is its IT infrastructure.
Greater web connectivity, however, has resulted in increased cyber-vulnerability. Attacks on highly classified information and sensitive areas of government establishments continue to rise.
Last month, Australia’s first ever online survey on population got suspended. Continued attacks on host servers from cybercriminals, believed from overseas, forced the government to shut down the census. Japan recently witnessed highly advanced attacks. Email accounts of several Japanese officials got compromised as cyber frauds stole data from store loyalty card-systems.
But cybercrimes are not just confined to data thefts and denial of service attacks. Vital installations, critical infrastructure risk monumental attacks in the age of digital war. Critical infrastructure like water supplies, power grids and transportation systems, which serves as nation’s backbone for prosperity and progress, could come under serious attacks from hackers and rogue elements.
Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness last year warned that cyber criminals would inflict “extensive impact” on critical IT assets and internet-enabled device in the futureIn this backdrop, a mere cyber security policy would not serve as the solution for preventing attacks. Nations would have to invest in training and management of critical infrastructure. Likewise, intelligence sharing and recurrent vulnerability assessments of vital installations would go a long way in averting a catastrophe.
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