Palo Alto - Legitimate Cyber Threats


Cyber-espionage is nothing but using information technology to gain access to secret information without consent from its owners or holders. In cyber-espionage, cracking techniques and malware are widely employed to gain strategic, political, economic, or military advantage.

In 2011, the US, the Office of the National Counter Intelligence Executive released a report officially acknowledging the legitimate threat of cyber-espionage and its potential to cause serious damage and harm.

Cyber security means protecting information and information systems from major cyber threats, such as cyber-terrorism, cyber-warfare, and cyber-espionage. Cyber threats aim at the political, infrastructural, secret, or military assets of a nation or its people.

Therefore, cyber security is an integral element of any government's security strategy. For instance, the U.S. federal government sanctioned more than $13 billion annually to cyber security since 2010. With cyber threats rapidly and continuously evolving, the federal government finds it extremely challenging to keep pace with cyber security strategy and operations.

Cyber security is a serious issue affecting all as it threatens critical infrastructure and intellectual property. Advisory organizations, namely the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), revised guidelines recently to secure networks from cyber threats.

Cyber-terrorism is the use of information technology by militants to promote their ideological or political agenda. For instance, when a Russian WWII memorial in 2007 was removed, Estonia faced a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that hit nearly all ministry networks and forced two major bank networks to go offline.

Cyber-warfare involves the use of information technology by nation-states to infiltrate another nation's networks to wreak damage or disruption. Hackers who are involved in cyber- warfare, which is widely recognized as the fifth domain of warfare (after land, sea, air, and space), has the support of the nation states .

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