It’s here. Finally. Maybe.
We may have finally arrived at that time in U.S history when “cybersecurity” has moved from an obscure tech term to a mainstream concern of everyday Americans. This important ‘tipping point’ comes courtesy of more than two years of well publicized cybersecurity intrusions, including but not limited to the Home Depot and Target attacks, as well as the Sony hack this past November.
Just yesterday, twelve short days into 2015, the media reported on not one, not two, but three cybersecurity ‘hacks’ on everything from the United States military, to airlines to the nice folks that make our children’s’ crayons:
- Cenctom (the United States Central Command) a command of the Department of Defense that has been the main American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan (source: Wikipedia) saw it’s Twitter and YouTube accounts hacked apparently by Islamic State sympathizers. Source: Washington Post
- Hackers broke into thousands of customer accounts for American Airlines and United Airlines, and even booked trips on a few. An American Airlines spokesperson said about 10,000 accounts were hacked. Source: New York Daily News
- And unknown hackers took control of the Crayola Facebook social media webpage and posted dozens of links to R-rated sites and sexual jokes. Source: USA Today
In response to these attacks and the media coverage surrounding them, politicians, congressional leaders and federal regulators are all now calling for legislative action. President Obama is pushing theThe Personal Data Notification & Protection Act to establish national, uniform requirements surrounding when and how companies should report cyberintrusions. The law would, “give a company 30 days to let you know if your personal information — such as your address or Social Security number — has been exposed by hackers or careless employees.” Source: CNN Money.
Separately, H.R. 234 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland, pushing forward, “another go at the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which passed the House in 2012, but got knocked down in the Senate.” Source: CNN Money
It is impossible to know if the Republican controlled House and Senate and President Obama will be able to work together to draft, negotiate and pass legislation to help keep Americans safer from cyberthreats. What is not so difficult to know or see is that this issue has reached a critical mass affecting everyday folks and that, without some additional action and effort to combat the threat, the results of these hacks and those to come will continue to grow and impact millions of Americans, their personal information and their privacy.