How Countries Are Using Cyber Security for Defense

Tali Sachs

More countries are beginning to see the importance of using Cyber Security for defense as our lives become more reliant on technology. Self-driving cars, biometric payments, drones, robots, and even lab-grown meat are some of the recent technology advancements to hit the news. And with the successful launch and landing of Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX has become a game-changer in aeronautics.


But Cyber Criminals can also get hold of both existing and new technologies. Governments need to be more cautious than ever about how such tools can get into the wrong hands. Just as businesses and large enterprises have high-tech tools at their fingertips, the same resources can be accessed—or even created—by Cyber criminals.


Recent Examples

Over 4,000 websites were infected when Hackers used the source code of Monero, a popular cryptocurrency, to mine artificial digital coins. The code was installed using Browsealoud, a popular software tool for visually-impaired internet users. Government sites including the US court system, the UK National Health Service, and the Queensland government were hit.


A DDoS Attack hit several Dutch government websites. It affected the Netherlands’ DigiD system, which allows citizens to access municipal services using digital identification. The attack prevented 10 million people from paying bills and taxes online. Top financial institutions such as ING and ABN Amro were also affected, as was KLM, the national airline.


Last year’s infamous WannaCry ransomware attack affected 150 countries around the globe. This Cyber Crime impacted the UK National Health Service, the Indian police force, the Sao Paulo Court of Justice, and the Russian Interior Ministry, among others.


What Governments Are Doing


Governments are constantly vigilant and always on the lookout for possible threats to national security. Preventing a fire is easier than cleaning it up after-the-fact.


The following are just some of the practices that governments use to fight Cyber Crimes:


Testing Cyber Threats and solutions in a simulated environment. Many governments use this effective practice to detect elements of the unknown. Rehearsing responses can bring these to light. Cyber Teams constantly undergo training exercises, just as the military does.


Interdepartmental and interorganizational cooperation is often necessary. Cyber Attacks rarely hit just one website or organization. Ensuring that real-time alerts and notifications are enabled across multiple teams leads to faster, efficient resolutions to network intrusions. The Cyber Security Information Sharing Act is just one example, allowing the US Government to share information with technology companies.


Sharing information and best practices with friendly nations is important. When Cyber Attacks impact multiple countries’ infrastructures, collaborating helps all the affected countries.


Most importantly, it is absolutely essential to stay on top of current technologies to best prepare for Cyber Threats.


For more on the latest in Cyber Security trends and news, check out other TurnToTech blogs and news.