News and social media corporations were rocked last month by the discovery of intensive hacking by a unit of the Chinese Army. This week, The Nation reports that a similar hacking campaign is being employed against progressive organizations by US-based hackers.
Our guest on our MOMOchat podcast this week is MOMocrat and cybersecurity expert Sarah Granger. She says that news like this does not surprise her.
“We’ve been having more and more of these notable companies being hacked in various ways over the past five years,” Sarah says. “We’re at a point where we really have to deal with this on a large scale.” She estimates the cost to the global economy at over $300 billion annually in lost data.
The White House and Congress are responding with new bills aimed at combating the problem – but citizen advocacy groups worry that government efforts will overreach into an invasion of privacy.
And government is only one of three levels where we need to pick up our cybersecurity efforts, says Sarah, who is a fellow and co-chair of the cybersecurity group at the Truman National Security Project. Corporations and individuals are also at risk.
“Unfortunately, just using anti virus software is no longer enough,” says Sarah. “The government needs to be involved in protecting their networks and our citizens.”
Last month, the President signed an executive order designed to do that — but it has been met with skepticism from privacy advocates. And the executive branch can’t go it alone – we also need legislation (and you’ll be hearing a lot about a new version of CISPA this year).
Sarah points out that educating our policy makers is key – both in Congress and the White House and non-governmental organizations, and the companies that contract with government.
“Military networks are well secured, but problem is that so much is outsourced to private companies, and there’s where the problem is,” says Sarah.
“Think it’s too expensive? you will pay for it when you get hacked.”