Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke at the retirement ceremony of NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander, and he took the opportunity to talk about the future of US cyber security. The security and stability of the Internet is (or at least should be) of key interest to any Internet Marketers who use the web to make a living. There is an important balance that Government Agencies need to find when it comes to digital security, and it will be very difficult.
On the one side, it is important to avoid an overreaching government that ‘snoops’ on everything that anyone does while online. For many people, the lack of privacy online is already quite concerning and they would be willing to accept some additional risk in order to keep the government from ‘spying’ on citizens. For others, however, the threat of terrorism (both on and offline) and the necessity to ensure the Internet remains functional and open is so essential that it will require the government to take a more active role.
Of course, in this high-tech age, the government also has to worry about cyber attacks that can have devastating effects on military equipment as well as the economy. In many ways, cyber threats are more pressing today than a traditional military attack.
Regardless of where you stand, it is important to keep up with what the NSA and other government agencies are planning, which is why Secretary Hagel’s comments are so important.
Hagel commented that, “Our nation confronts the proliferation of destructive malware and a new reality of steady, ongoing, and aggressive efforts to probe, access or disrupt public and private networks, and the industrial control systems that manage our water, energy and food supplies.”
These are real threats that are ongoing, and could have a devastating effect on the way we live our lives. As marketers, most of us are already aware of how destructive malware can be, even just on a smaller scale. To combat these threats, Hagel said that that Department of Defense is hoping to have 6000 people working on a cyber security team by 2016.
He went on to say, “Our responsibility, whatever the revolutions in technology, is to guard not only our nation, but also the fundamental character of our open society.” This is obviously an attempt to comfort the many people who believe that increased government involvement would only result in a more restricted, monitored and closed off web.
On that subject, Hagel also said, “We will continue to take steps to be open and transparent about our cyber capabilities, doctrine, and forces – with the American people, our allies and partners, and even competitors.”
What impact the changes in cyber security efforts by the government will have, either directly or indirectly, on the digital marketing industry will be something we all need to keep a close eye on.