Last week the Pentagon disclosed that it suffered a huge data loss when 24,000 files from a military contractor were stolen. William Lynn, the US Deputy Secretary of Defence, disclosed the breach during a speech in which he outlined a new cyber strategy for the US. In the speech, Lynn formally declared cyberspace as a new domain for warfare.
There is a strong suspicion that the attack was carried out by a foreign government. Naturally, no government would throw allegations at each other in public; however it is a given that foreign cyber espionage is very much on the increase. Indeed, earlier this year, President Obama signed executive orders establishing how far military commanders could go in regards to using cyber attacks against its enemies.
As for the US Department of Defence, William Lynn outlined the following as critical next steps:
This incident highlights the fact that cyber crime and cyber theft affects everyone in this global society. If defence departments are able to be breached, what is the hope for the rest of us? Cyber security – for the individual, for businesses and governments – will become one of the most important issues in the 21st century.
Adopting effective cyber security, cyber best practices and educating individuals on cyber threats is a must for all businesses.
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