US IT infrastructure not adequately prepared for cyber attacks, says IEEE-USA
Washington (14 July 2006) -- Because our nation's information technology infrastructure is highly vulnerable to hackers, terrorists, organized crime syndicates and natural disasters, increased funding for cyber security research and development is needed, according to a recent position adopted by IEEE-USA.
"Because of society's complete reliance on information technology and cyber networks, all the critical infrastructures and networks are interdependent and interconnected," IEEE-USA stated. "A cyber attack on one sector's infrastructure may have devastating consequences to another sector. U.S. infrastructure is not adequately prepared to defend against such risks."
Nearly every aspect of life in the United States is tied to computers. Air traffic control systems, power grids, financial systems, public health records and military and intelligence cyber networks, among others, all depend on computer networks. According to IEEE-USA, core Internet protocols such as Internet routing, e-mail and end-user authentication are at risk of cyber attack.
To help mitigate the risk of attack, IEEE-USA recommends that Congress and the executive branch work with private industry to:
- Authorize and appropriate increased and stable funding for cyber security research
- Encourage and support cyber security technology transfer programs
- Facilitate commercialization
- Facilitate development and implementation of cyber security standards
- Support cyber security education programs
"Not only has the government traditionally played an important role in financing such efforts, but IEEE-USA strongly believes that, without the government driving a long-term cyber security vision, industry will most likely continue to make only incremental advances and improvements based on short-term, market-driven and adverse risk factors."
The position is accessible at http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/positions/cybersecurity.asp.
IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries. See http://www.ieeeusa.org.
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