In a strongly worded Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, President Obama urged Congress to back Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
He warns that enemies unable to match our nation on the physical battlefield may seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home. A successful attack on a critical system could have devastating consequences. He stresses that comprehensive cyber security legislation will make it easier for the government and private sector to share critical information about cyber threats, helping them to better prevent and recover from attacks. But, he says, simply sharing information is not enough. Though many private enterprises have boosted their cyber defenses, many others have not – with some lacking even the most basic protection.
Obama’s piece was posted just hours after Lieberman and co-sponsors introduced a revised version of the bill, which establishes a multi-agency National Cybersecurity Council to incentivize organizations to meet certain cyber security standards.
Today's reality is that the most dangerous cyber threats are advanced, targeted and unknown. In fact, many public and private organizations are already under attack. Though this current cyber security legislation is an important step in building out the global intelligence layer by facilitating the sharing of data and threat information, it’s critical that enterprise organizations do not wait for such proposals to become reality before taking steps to defend their own IT environments, critical infrastructure and valuable intellectual property. The time to take action is now.
The current cyber landscape calls for enterprise organizations to take a more anticipatory posture. By collecting real-time intelligence of attacks happening within their own organizations, enterprises can achieve true situational awareness. This situational awareness enables an organization to plan and execute an effective defense for in-progress attacks. By using this real-time attack intelligence to monitor the battles unfolding within their own IT borders, organizations can begin to adjust their defense strategies minute-by-minute, in real-time, to isolate, avoid and even deceive cyber attackers.
"Today we can see the cyber threat to the networks upon which so much of our modern American lives depend. We have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to take action now and stay a step ahead of our adversaries,” said Obama. “It's time to strengthen our defenses against this growing danger."