Developing Cybersecurity Research and Development plans
Information technology (IT) is continuing to pervade all aspects of modern life. Cyberspace will continue to provide remarkable benefits to society, thanks to 21st-century technology like high-speed mobile networking and smart cities. However, the greater society’s reliance on IT, the greater the potential for adversaries to cause disruption and harm through malevolent cyber actions. Intellectual property in the United States is being stolen today, key infrastructure is being jeopardized, commercial and government computer systems are being hacked, and consumers are concerned about their privacy.
The Internet, as it is currently configured, puts both the public and private sectors at a disadvantage when it comes to cybercriminals and other harmful enemies. By providing a position of assurance and trust for cyber systems and professionals, advances in cybersecurity are urgently needed to safeguard the Internet’s societal and economic benefits. The federal government’s strategic R&D investments can assist to develop cybersecurity, secure cyberspace, and, eventually, strengthen the US economy.
The Head of state released the National Cyber Strategy of the United States of America in September 2018, laying out how the administration will concentrate its efforts “(1) To protect the homeland, networks, systems, functional areas, as well as information must be protected; (2) To foster a thriving digital economy and strong domestic innovation to foster American prosperity; (3) By enhancing our ability, together with our allies and partners, to deter an attack, we can maintain peace and security.”
Framing the Situation Strategically
This plan focuses on creating S&T to support four defensive elements: Deter, Protect, Detect, and Respond, to counter harmful cyber operations and campaigns. Efficacy and efficiency measures based on evidence drive this strategy. The solutions are effective if they deliver the intended level of security; they are efficient if the measured units of benefit exceed the cost-minimized units. In addition to technology solutions, the Plan emphasizes the importance of investing in a broad workforce of cyber specialists who can design and implement appropriate cybersecurity measures.
Vulnerability in Cyberspace and Infrastructure
Cyberspace and its underpinning infrastructure are exposed to a variety of threats and hazards, both physical and cyber. Cyber actors and nation-states are developing capabilities to interrupt, damage, or threaten the supply of important services, as well as exploit weaknesses to steal information and money. Cyberspace is particularly difficult to defend due to hostile actors’ ability to operate from anywhere on the planet, the interconnections between cyberspace and physical systems, and the complexity of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks. The cyber threat to vital infrastructure, which is increasingly vulnerable to sophisticated cyber assaults that pose new risks, is causing rising alarm. As information technology and physical infrastructure operations grow more interconnected, there is a greater danger of large-scale or high-consequence incidents that might impair or disrupt services that are critical to our economy and the daily lives of millions of American citizens. Strengthening the security and resilience of the cyberspace has become an important homeland security objective because of the danger and potential effects of cyber incidents.
The Cyber Domain
The cyber domain is a new addition to the well-known four domains of land, sea, air, and, finally, space, which became accessible to humans in the mid-twentieth century. While the first four domains are elements of the cosmos, the fifth is a human construct — a continual technological development with substantial and ongoing effects on the entire universe.
The Role of start-ups in Cyber Security
Cybersecurity start-ups got over US$10.7 billion in funding in 2020, according to a joint analysis by CBInsights and PwC. Cyberattacks, on the other hand, are becoming a substantial cause of loss for organizations that operate through the internet. As all enterprises seek to combat increasingly complicated, costly, and unexpected cyberattacks, new start-ups and established vendors are receiving record levels of funding. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the total cost of cybercrime is anticipated to exceed US$10.5 trillion per year by 2025. Although attack techniques evolve as new technologies emerge, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and so on, cybersecurity start-ups embrace them to find a way out.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is already a reality, with an increasing number and diversity of consumer products, household appliances, and sensors used in transportation and municipal services sharing computational power, network access, and the capacity to be controlled remotely. The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem is complex, and the security concerns it poses are equally so. The computing, data storage, communication, and power resources available to IoT devices are frequently constrained. Authentication, encryption, and security policy enforcement approaches that work on a desktop or server will not function on a device with limited resources. Because IoT devices have restricted user interfaces and the typical user of consumer products is not schooled in cybersecurity, they may not make consistently sound security and privacy judgments.
Role of Schools in Cyber Security
For educational institutions, cyber security must be a key priority. Despite considerable obstacles in the industry, such as a lack of manpower and financing, and resources, cyber-attacks in education are no less common or serious. Schools and higher education seem to be reporting more breaches as they become more widely reported each year. We’ve heard regarding ransom attacks causing financial harm – for example, the incident that forced Minnesota School District to shut down for a whole day while IT professionals rebuilt their system – and malware attacks causing widespread disruption – such as the attack which forced the University of Calgary to hand over $20,000 to cybercriminals.
Cybersecurity research and development is the need of the hour. For advanced economies like ours, we have more reliance on our connected computer systems than ever before. Thus, the society, the government, the corporates and the other stakeholders must act today to strengthen our cyberspace, before it is too late.