We are in a cyber war

Marc Kahlberg, CEO and MD, Vital Intelligence Group

By Marc Kahlberg

It has been mentioned several times by many experts that the single biggest existential threat that’s out there is cyber. Headlines related to cyber attack and ransomware have indeed created the worlds undivided attention over the past few days and there is no doubt that there is a war occurring across the globe and it may not only be the military but indeed criminal mercenary soldiers of fortune that are extremely difficult to be found.

You can’t see it physically (unless of course you receive a message saying that you have been held hostage to Ransomware), but the effects are clear and it’s no longer a quiet point of conversation but indeed a global scream for assistance.

Governments are going public with their strategies to deploy armies of “hackers” and advanced cyber offensive tools and weapons are being deployed in what is being called “a Cyber World War”.

Cyber security may indeed be thought of as a frontier of for fighting and defeating global terror groups or cyber criminals but at the center of this battle is big data, cyber analytics, intellectual knowledge, complacent governments and no doubt some extremely intelligent cyber savvy people .

In almost any warfare doctrine, intelligence and timing are critical. Getting the right information into the right hands at the right time requires robust tools to identify the threat vectors that can mean the difference between success and failure.

In cyber warfare, protecting public and private networks and data centers requires a careful analysis of the data packets coming in to and out of the network.

As Cyber-attacks create huge volumes of information that certainly holds insights into who is attacking, what they are doing and how to defend against the threats. The ability to connect the seemingly disparate pieces of data and detect anomalies is where the battle is won. This timely analysis allows Cyber Intelligence teams to identify threats, launch defenses and yes as in any military doctrine launch offensive counter attacks.

With cyber-crime and terrorism, it’s not about fighting fair- it’s about fighting smart with the right tools and people at your side.

On May 12 2017, the World’s biggest cyberattack sent countries into a ‘disaster recovery mode’. The cyber battlefield is constantly shifting. Threats evolve daily and new attacks are mounted every second of the day. Public and private organizations are turning to different methods of cyber analytic solutions to discover actionable insights by ingesting large volumes of sensor data, correlating that data to derive information and perform near real-time forensics, then translating that to actionable intelligence to defend against these threats.

Just like the traditional battlefield, there is no one correct strategy, no short term solution and no silver bullet to win a war. But awareness, understanding and vigilance combined with accurate targeted offensive front line cyber intelligence will go a long way in keeping the enemy busy and at the same time protecting all of our cyber interests.

Ultimately, Cyberwar is a battle that is being fought on many fronts including in your own home. The right tools and the right people are as important in this war as they are in every war that has been fought for centuries. Perhaps the battlefield has changed, but the keys to ensuring victory remain the same. The best form of defense is certainly a very good offensive.

The author is  CEO and MD of Vital Intelligence Group

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