“Porous as a Colander”

Expert Says Cyberterrorism is a Threat to U.S. Corporations and Government Agencies

When you think about data backup and recovery, you probably think of natural disasters – floods, hurricanes, fires, and the like.  But cybersecurity expert Richard Clarke says that the biggest threat to our sensitive information may not come from the sea or the sky.  It may come from China.  Or Iran, North Korea, Russia, or any other nation with the technical capability to launch a cyberattack on the United States.

At a recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) colloquium, Clarke – a former counter-terrorism czar for presidents George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton – said that he doesn’t believe that the United States is prepared to defend itself from a full-scale cyberattack.

Clarke told conference attendees that the United States’ networks were “as porous as a colander.” He said that the country’s cybersecurity was so weak that he’d encourage America’s leaders to think twice before going to war with other nations.

“I can’t assure you that as you go to war with a cybersecurity-conscious, cybersecurity-capable enemy that any of our stuff is going to work,” Clarke said, adding that a retaliation launched by another country could cripple the country’s power grids, banking systems, military communications, and transportation systems.

Clarke told attendees that the U.S. needs step up its cybersecurity efforts.  He urged the government to take action to protect the country from debilitating cyberattacks and to prevent other countries from stealing sensitive information.  He also encouraged government organizations to be more vigilant and proactive when it came to malware and viruses.

So what does this mean for your business?

Well, to start with, it’s important to remember that disasters aren’t always natural.  Your business may not be located on a flood plain; and you may not live in a part of the world that’s prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes.  But manmade disasters – terrorist attacks, for example, or cyberattacks – can happen anywhere.

Would your organization’s sensitive data be protected in the event of a manmade disaster?  What is your company doing to protect your systems from viruses and malware?  How quickly would you bounce back if a cyberattack wiped out, say, your financial information or client records?

Are you prepared for a cyberattack?  What is your backup plan?  Is your company a colander or a fortress? Leave a comment and tell us what you’re doing to protect yourself against disasters – natural and manmade.


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