Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its blueprint on cybersecurity. The document essentially provides a framework for managing the myriad cyber threats that are lurking out there, while still fostering an environment of innovation, prosperity, and economic growth. It’s an ambitious plan, but it’s certainly necessary.
The range of security threats runs the gamut these days. You’ve got so many different options for hackers to ply their trade that it can be quite a challenge to police all physical and virtual borders. The explosion in social media and collaboration tools has opened up a bevy of new channels for hackers to distribute viruses and other types of malware. Thus, the sophistication of criminals nowadays makes cybersecurity one of the most important issues for DHS in the 21st century.
The DHS framework has two key pillars: (1) the infrastructure protecting critical information, and (2) strengthening the cyber ecosystem in general. To achieve these twin objectives, DHS must execute on several fronts: hardening critical networks, prosecuting cybercriminals, raising public awareness, and hiring/training cybersecurity-savvy workers. As you can see, it’s a multi-faceted strategy that requires cooperation and input from several sources and individuals (including we the people).
Thankfully, the pace of technological innovation in the security space is just as brisk. Anti-malware and URL filtering technologies continue to push the envelope in terms of detection capabilities. Monitoring software now offers granular controls over social media sites. And archiving capabilities now include a slew of communications modalities, including email, instant messaging, social media, collaboration platforms, etc., making it easier to build a case should prosecution become an option.
Security dangers may lurk everywhere, but with the right systems, policies, and training in place, the DHS blueprint may well become a reality sooner rather than later.