When we speak about cybersecurity threats, there is nothing riskier and troublesome than the complexity of a modern country, where the digital has taken over all day-to-day operations. Moreover, governments and the state’s administration held millions of citizens data and all sorts of sensible data.
However, in many cases, their cyber-defense strategies leave much to be desired. According to an article published by Mckinsey Global Institute, “Many countries have yet to clarify their cyber-defense strategies across all dimensions of cybersecurity or to impose a single governance structure.” As such, that lack of clarity can result in a confused response to crises and inefficient use of limited resources.
The opinion stated in Mckinsey ‘s article is that an efficient national cybersecurity strategy should be centralized and properly designed from the top levels of the state. They go on saying: “a single organization should have overall responsibility for cybersecurity, bringing operational activity and policy together with clear governance arrangements and a single stream of funding.”
In order to do so, they need to take into consideration all the possible backdoors and vulnerabilities from where their complex infrastructure can be breached. Collecting data from real-life cyber attacks would be just the beginning while implementing the latest technology should be considered a must in further strategy development. In order to do so, applications based on Artificial Intelligence might be the right point from where to begin with.
In fact, most advanced countries have begun to introduce AI within their departments in an effort to develop effective strategies against cyber attacks. For example, applications are being developed to use AI in the fields of fighting crime, for surveillance and for the military, as well as in politics.
This strategy should account for many varied forms of cyber attacks, as not all of them are obvious. A particularly worrisome issue that emerged in this regard in recent months has been how the electoral process in both the UK and the USA were potentially impacted on by manipulative use of platforms such as Facebook. It is even believed that such efforts influenced election results, and there are also concerns that large scale fraud could occur through the use of these types of technologies, targeting other State’s areas.
If a relatively small and privately owned organization such as Cambridge Analytica could interfere in the general elections of the USA, other organizations with better-funded teams could do even more harm. Nonetheless, using private networks – like Facebook – to impact elections is just the tip of the iceberg from a national security perspective.
As we can see, the threats posed by cybersecurity issues are not insignificant. Inside Big Data reported in late 2018, it was stated that “there were 5.99 billion recorded malware attacks in the first half of 2018, which doubled the number in 2017 over the same period.”
Governments and society as a whole should find ways to reduce these numbers and to ensure that their cybersecurity strategy is robust to stop that number to grow.