hacking eyeLast week I was fortunate enough to attend a Cyber Exchange hosted by Swift Exchange. The event in DC had an impressive list of speakers, panelists and attendees to discuss domestic and international cyber, privacy issues involving cyber, defense options and future trends. This will lead to a series of blog posts.

Three big ideas:

  • cyber war is eminent.
  • The next war will start with a cyber attack.
  • Cyber intrusions are precursors to cyber attack as they represent a shift of balance and power.

Government agencies across the world are trying with the help corporations to secure the cyber world and prevent IP theft, financial devastation and more. However, fighting cyber crime is not an end in itself; a world without cyber crime enables economic innovation and growth and the free flow of information. With so much to gain, it is not necessary that national cyber policies of different nations are the same but that they are interoperable. It could be said that the primary interest of each country is first and foremost itself but this is a global threat.

To quote Chris Painter, Coordinator of Cyber Issues of the US State Department, we must be “patient, persistent and creative” in the development of international cyber policies. Yes, government should be involved but the cooperation of corporations and vendors is vital for national and international success. We are in this together and we need to join forces.

We need to ask, “What is the goal?” What are we trying to do? Do we want to lock down the internet and cyber roads so much that the flow of information slides to a halt? We need to pause before pushing legislation that builds a Great Wall of China around each country in hopes our secrets are safe inside. President Obama said that cyber is the biggest threat we face as a nation. It’s time to accept this and address it with the same respect we give to physical defense movements.