The inability to deflect even a simulated cyber attack or mitigate its effects shown in the exercise that took place some six days ago at Washington’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel doesn’t bode well for the US.
Mike McConnell, the former Director of National Intelligence, said to the US Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee yesterday that if the US got involved in a cyber war at this moment, they would surely lose. “We’re the most vulnerable. We’re the most connected. We have the most to lose,” he stated.
Three years ago, McConnell referred to cybersecurity as the “”soft underbelly of this country” and it’s clear that he thinks things haven’t changed much since then.
And he isn’t that optimistic about what warnings about the possibility might achieve. According to InfoWorld, he thinks that only an attack with catastrophic consequences will spur the government into action. “We will not mitigate this risk,” he says. “We will talk about it, we will wave our hands, we’ll have a bill, but we will not mitigate this risk.”
James Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, thinks that cyber security is not something that has to be left in the hands of private companies and that government intervention should be called for. “Government needs to give the market a kick,” says McConnell.
Not so long ago, the introduction of two Senate bills that would allow the US president to shut down the Internet in case of a cyber emergency made corporations all over the country sweat. But, it’s plain to see that government affiliated experts would welcome it with open arms and are longing to see the government taking a more active role when it comes to cybersecurity.