Finding a straight line to walk between the daily news and political opinions about North Korea cyber attacks can be a daunting task. With the very visible level of contention on the rise between Kim Jong-un and the U.S., should we let it distract us from the things within our reach that we can control?
Aren’t there Watch Dogs Handling This?
Yes, and no.
September 30, 2017, The Washington Post made public a U.S. anti-cyber attack against North Korea that President Trump had launched soon after taking office. The Post’s article clarified that this Cyber Command operation had just (that very day) completed several months of ‘denial of service attacks’ on North Korean hackers.
The following day, 38North.org posted a follow up: Russia had initiated a ‘backup lifeline’ to North Korea by way of an alternative second Internet link. 38North – a project of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies – has kept a close eye on the leadership and economic stability in North Korea (as well as its missile launch pad) since 2009. Its impressive list of contributors from around the globe provide informed analyses, with the intention of giving this subject balanced clarity.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), located in Washington, D.C., was established 50 years ago as a “bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions” to help decision makers chart their course. James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President of CSIS, believes the risk of disruption by cyber threat is determined by a victim’s level of vulnerability.
Lewis also doubts North Korea “will use threats and coercive acts to “pursue its larger policy goals” because its leaders are not going to put their own survival on the line. He also suggests the Trump administration make it very clear that “any attack will be detected and its source identified, and that we will respond forcefully and in damaging ways.”
Why North Korea Cyber Attacks Matter to YOU!
Sure, the jury may still be out as to whether North Korea was involved in all the cyber attacks it has been accused of instigating. But one thing we know for certain – these aggressive acts are always intentional, and guarding against them proactively should become our focus.
Cyber threats and subsequent strikes have been utilized in a variety of ways to wreak havoc on individuals and companies (and even governments). Amongst the most egregious effects are: disrupting operations, compromising intellectual property and private employee data, removing money from online bank accounts and falsely influencing public perceptions.
To ignore the reality that everything online is subject to intrusion would be a big mistake. Essentially, every product ever created has been copied, improved upon or replaced by the next shiny object. And the Internet is no different. The obvious ‘constant’ of the Web is ‘change,’ as it continues to become more transparent and remotely available.
So, What Can You Do to Change the Story?
Neither individuals nor businesses should have to live in a constant state of alarm. The good news is, taking an active stance could change everything.
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