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Cyber attacks are no longer limited to petty thieves stealing laptops or hacking into a server to extract sensitive data.
Cyber intruders are now threatening our national security. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a call to arms last month against cyber attacks on U.S. targets.
Panetta said the Pentagon must be able to defend the nation against potential cyber attackers, according to NBC news. Panetta, speaking to business executives in New York, said cyber intruders have already gained access to some of the country’s computer systems that run chemical, electric and water plants. These cyber criminals have every intention of causing panic, destruction and even the loss of lives, he added.
With an annual budget of about $3 billion for cyber security, Panetta says more needs to be done to create an army of cyber warriors to confront the immediate and growing cyber threats facing the nation.
Panetta’s remarks came just weeks after America’s largest banks were attacked by an international hacktivist group. The group launched denial of service attacks against the banks, shutting down their websites for hours at a time. The hacktivists, known as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, issued a statement saying the attacks were in retaliation to a YouTube video that insulted many Muslims. These attacks typically flood a website or network with so much traffic that it shuts down. They can last anywhere from hours to days.
But cyber attacks aren’t just aimed at the Pentagon, utilities and banks. They threaten every industry, in every industrialized nation, on the globe. The fact is that no organization – regardless of how large or small – is immune from cyber criminal attacks, denial of service attacks, vicious malware, cyber extortion and cyber espionage.
Is your organization prepared to ward off a cyber attack? Click here for helpful cyber security tips that can help protect your organization from cyber threats.