While the Democrats and the mainstream media are busy running around telling Americans that our democracy is about to fall into the hands of a would-be tyrant in President Donald Trump, the saner heads who run our intelligence community believe that the U.S. needs to be far, FAR more concerned about the threat of international cyber attacks.
In testimony before the Senate on Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that the U.S. was behind the curve when it came to preparing and fighting the cyber war, even though digital attacks were “one of the top – if not the number one threat” facing the country.
Last week, President Trump took a big step forward on the subject, signing an executive order that outlined plans going forward for federal agencies to get out in front of this dire threat. According to TechCrunch, the timing of the order – though overshadowed by the news of James Comey’s firing – could not have been better:
Firstly, this development was truly important — a serious call to action to beef up government cybersecurity measures at a time when breaches dominate the headlines and mounting worries about a future cyber war among nation-states are legitimate.
The EO’s call for federal government agencies — especially civilian agencies — to seek opportunities to share cyber technology makes a great deal of sense.
The tech site said it was also time for the federal government to look beyond the usual, established vendors – particularly because some of them have links to China and Russia. But perhaps more importantly, the larger vendors are seldom on the cutting edge of the hacking scene, meaning they don’t necessarily possess the right tools for the modern age.
“We must recognize where most of the innovation in cyber actually takes place — in small, private cybersecurity startups — and take steps to help the government purchase technology and services from these companies,” they wrote. “The government today relies mostly on large, established cyber vendors and integrators, many of which do not sell state-of-the-art wares. The government must restructure procurement policies to attract more innovative blood into the game. Buying yesterday’s solution to defend against tomorrow’s challenges and threats is a waste of time and money — and does not make us more secure.”
A massive cyber-attack could take down much of the Eastern seaboard’s critical infrastructure, leading to widespread power outages, document leaks, and banking crises. In some ways, an attack like that would be even more devastating than the biggest of bombs and the fallout could have far longer ramifications.
It’s time for our nation’s politicians and journalists to dig themselves out of the constant Trump Drama and start paying at least a little bit of attention to the real threats to America’s national security.