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Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation, 2nd Edition by Ted G. Lewis

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9Cybersecurity Policya

Ryan Ellis

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, USA

Cybersecurity is a key national security challenge of the twenty-first century. The diffusion of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) across every corner of our lives—from the smartphones in our pockets to the industrial control systems (ICS) that control the operation of the electric power grid—provides new conveniences, interesting services and products, and opportunities to improve efficiency. Yet, this same process also presents new risks. The opportunities for malicious activity are high. Nation-states, criminal gangs, and others see cyberspace as a new domain to exploit. The integration of new ICTs with other critical infrastructures offers tantalizing prospects for harm. Behind the seemingly endless string of neologisms—“cyberwar,” “cybercrime,” “cyberterrorism,” and the list goes on—are all-too-familiar maladies: sabotage, espionage, theft, and fraud. For militaries developing offensive cyber capabilities, cyberspace is a new battlefield; cyber attacks against critical infrastructures are simply the latest evolution in war fighting. For spy agencies, cyberspace offers ripe new targets; cleverly crafted exploits can return a trove of valuable intelligence. Criminals, likewise, see cyberspace as the land of opportunity. Poorly defended and easy to infiltrate, cyberspace is rife with crime. Criminals—“crackers”—are looting the ...

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