Americans at Odds Over How to Proceed on National Cybersecurity

What if tomorrow you woke up and your electricity was off? What if it was off everywhere, locally and nationally? How would we conduct our daily lives without the one commodity that makes a lot of our daily lives possible, electricity? This scenario is a potential reality, especially in light of recent statements by experts and government officials supporting the likelihood of a concerted cyber attack upon our nation’s critical infrastructure at some time in the near future.

However, what if you could possibly prevent such an attack, but at the loss of some personal privacy? Would it be worth it? Well, according to a recent Washington Post poll, the nation is divided on whether to allow such intrusions by governmental agencies into our personal lives: 46% of respondents said it was okay, while 43% said that such an intrusion was unjustified.

This goes along with poll numbers saying that only one-third of Americans think the government is ready for a cyber attack, and 28% think the private sector is likewise ready. These figures haven’t changed much since the last poll completed on cybersecurity 10 years ago in 2002.

What many individual Americans fail to realize is that with the growing capabilities of cyberspace, the means for activities with malicious intent have also increased. The recent development of the Shodan search engine, which gives its users the ability to detect computers that are connected to the Internet and are open for exploitation by hackers, is a case in point, revealing the need for stronger protective measures.

Congress and the Obama Administration are currently trying to hash out such measures, even going so far as to imagine a mock cyber attack on NYC. However, there has been little success as of yet with such measures, and the main points at odds include privacy issues, protecting the rights of individual users, and the burden that companies should take for improved security. Hopefully, an accord can be reached between Republicans and Democrats before it is too late.

For more information about cybersecurity in America and how it affects individuals and businesses, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cybersecurity-poll-americans-divided-over-government-requirements-on-companies/2012/06/06/gJQAmWqnJV_story.html
and
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/officials-use-nyc-blackout-scenario-to-sell-senators-on-cyber-attack-legislation/2012/03/09/gIQA9Z530R_blog.html