By Charles Leaver

9/11 Commission authors discuss cybercrime threat in new report

To some people, it may seem far-fetched to hear cybercrime equated with terrorism. But such skepticism has been effectively dispelled by a group that knows terrorism when it sees it: The authors of the 9/11 Commission report.

Cybercrime among key threats in 10-year report
Ten years ago, the 9/11 Commission report broke new ground by systematically analyzing the presence of terrorism in the United States. The report had been commissioned after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the resulting document represented a sweeping dissection of the attacks. In the preface to the report, the commission staff describes looking over 2.5 million documents and interviewing more than 1,200 people. The central question posed in the report is both simple and full of weight: “How did this happen, and how can we avoid such tragedy again?”

Back in 2004, it may have seemed unlikely that cybercrime could be the cause of the next devastating act of terror, but today that prospect is well within the realm of possibility. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the report, former commission members are releasing a document entitled “Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of The 9/11 Commission Report,” according to The Washington Post. The reflections not only take a look at the security landscape since 9/11, but also make projections about future terror preparedness. And there’s one terror actor on the commission’s radar that certainly wouldn’t have been there ten years ago: cybercriminals.

According to excerpts from the report quoted in The Washington Post, the “cyber domain [is] the battlefield of the future,” with malicious hackers posing a significant degree of threat. If we’re not careful about putting up virtual defenses, the commissioners warned, then this country could be faced with an attack in the digital realm that’s comparable to that of 9/11.

“We must not repeat that mistake in the cyber realm,” the authors of the new report stated.

Protecting your business with endpoint threat detection and response measures
The release of this new report should provide all the impetus businesses need to enact firm defensive infrastructures if such measures don’t already exist. For an enterprise to fail to guard its endpoints is as negligent as if that same company left its front doors unlocked at night. Of course, every business locks its physical doors, but often the virtual doors aren’t held to the same security standard. Why is that? Quite simply, it’s because of a general sense of naïveté about the degree of threat posed by cybercriminals.

All too often, business leaders falsely assume that because a malicious incursion hasn’t happened yet, it won’t happen in the future. Hopefully, the new report from the 9/11 Commission authors sheds light on what a short-sighted and potentially destructive view that is. In our tech-savvy and increasingly digital world, businesses have a responsibility to themselves and more importantly their customers to be attuned to the particular security needs of our age. And with cyberattackers around every corner, endpoint security is hardly optional.

 

By: Charles Leaver

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