previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Cybersecurity Needs its Place in Emergency Management Now

 Published: July 14, 2020  Created: July 13, 2020

By John Breth

As fears spread about the coronavirus (COVID-19), another issue lurks beneath the surface. The virus has provided an opportunity for nefarious individuals to send phishing emails and malware under the guise of pandemic response information from the World Health Organization. Using fake news and social engineering, cybercriminals play upon people’s fears to steal sensitive information.

Erel Margalit, the founder of Jerusalem Venture Partners, has expressed his suspicions that cyberattacks have helped propel the virus. “The outbreak of the [coronavirus] and the way the world is dealing with it, is like a script for the onset of global cyberattacks,” he said at the Local Government Innovation Conference at Muni Expo 2020. As governments scramble to contain the coronavirus, their data systems and information architecture are enticing targets for adversaries along with the private sector. Unfortunately, governments have not been transparent about the dangers of cyberattacks to citizens and the private sector — and they are ill-equipped to deal with various cyber threats.

Emergency management is traditionally associated with natural disasters, acts of terror, and disease outbreaks. When a dam breaks, governments should be prepared to minimize the damage and risk to their citizens. However, many are using outdated computer systems to manage their infrastructure, which makes them vulnerable to attack. In 2013, Iranian hackers accessed the digital control system for the Bowman Avenue Dam near Rye Brook, New York. Although they did not open the floodgates, they would have been able to do so. As both national and international media have dutifully reported, cyberattacks are an ever-growing threat to government infrastructure and data warehouses. These reports include cyberattacks that entailed assaults on physical infrastructure, theft of data and identities, and disruptions in work. The attack on Bowman Avenue Dam shows that breaches of cybersecurity can potentially have devastating physical and economic effects. Failing to plan for cyber threats as part of emergency management procedures is detrimental to national security. Despite the increasing occurrence and scope of cyberattacks, general emergency management remains woefully oblivious of this growing threat.

Major attacks on critical infrastructure such as power, gas, and water stations, as well as transportation control systems, have become the new face of warfare. In October 2019, hackers knocked out more than 2,000 websites hosted in the nation of Georgia. According to the U.K., the U.S., and Georgia, Russia carried out this attack to destabilize the country as part of its hybrid warfare activities. Ukraine has suffered two successive power outages due to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) cyberattack. Concerns about an attack on the U.S. power grid are rampant — and for a good reason. Emergency management is traditionally associated with natural disasters, acts of terror, and disease outbreaks. When a dam breaks, governments should be prepared to minimize the damage and risk to their citizens. However, many are using outdated computer systems to manage their infrastructure, which makes them vulnerable to attack. In 2013, Iranian hackers accessed the digital control system for the Bowman Avenue Dam near Rye Brook, New York. Although they did not open the floodgates, they would have been able to do so.

As both national and international media have dutifully reported, cyberattacks are an ever-growing threat to government infrastructure and data warehouses. These reports include cyberattacks that entailed assaults on physical infrastructure, theft of data and identities, and disruptions in work. The attack on Bowman Avenue Dam shows that breaches of cybersecurity can potentially have devastating physical and economic effects. Failing to plan for cyber threats as part of emergency management procedures is detrimental to national security. Despite the increasing occurrence and scope of cyberattacks, general emergency management remains woefully oblivious of this growing threat.

Major attacks on critical infrastructure such as power, gas, and water stations, as well as transportation control systems, have become the new face of warfare. In October 2019, hackers knocked out more than 2,000 websites hosted in the nation of Georgia. According to the U.K., the U.S., and Georgia, Russia carried out this attack to destabilize the country as part of its hybrid warfare activities. Ukraine has suffered two successive power outages due to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) cyberattack. Concerns about an attack on the U.S. power grid are rampant — and for a good reason.

Cybersecurity needs the attention of all policymakers and emergency planners. To be truly effective, emergency management planners must incorporate cybersecurity into their framework. The world’s most powerful governments must take the necessary steps to update their infrastructure before it is too late.


https://www.cpomagazine.com/cyber-security/cybersecurity-needs-its-place-in-emergency-management-now/


No Thoughts on Cybersecurity Needs its Place in Emergency Management Now

Leave A Comment