In the wake of the recent presidential election in the United States, there are a lot of questions concerning how the next four years will look—for the United States as a nation and for the world. One aspect we at FixMeStick are interested in is cyber security.
In the second debate, President elect, Donald Trump, made it clear that he plans to make cyber security a top priority. According to the Washington Post’s transcript of the debate, moderator Lester Holt addressed the candidates, “Our institutions are under cyber attack, our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who’s behind it? And how do we stop it?”.
Mr. Holt’s concerns are certainly valid, after all Hillary Clinton, along with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), were recently hacked, leaking much sensitive information (such as personal phone numbers and email addresses) to the website Wikileaks.
In response to these anxieties, Mr. Trump stated:
“As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said. We should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows that it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia—I don’t, maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?
The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe, it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing.”
Love or hate Mr. Trump, he is right about one thing: technological threats to national security are difficult to combat and it’s often hard to pin down the culprits. Mr. Trump briefly outlines his policy objectives concerning cyber security on his website. They include a commitment to an immediate review of the United States’ current cyber defenses and vulnerabilities—which is not a bad place to start.
For businesses, the international threats touched on by Mr. Trump have real resonance. In September, the International Business Times reported on a darknet (a computer network with restricted access that is used chiefly for illegal file sharing) security company claiming a group of Russian hackers is working on stealing data from 85 major American corporations, including Amazon, Apple Pay, AT&T, Best Buy, eBay, GoDaddy, Match.com, McDonald’s, Paypal, Steam and Uber.
But the truth is, cyber security is not just for presidential podiums—it’s a pedestrian problem. And everyday users are becoming more and more aware of that. With films like Snowden (based on the former C.I.A. agent who leaked 1.5 million N.S.A. files to journalists) playing in theaters across the globe, cultural awareness of this growing phenomenon is definitely increasing.
With the greater attention and awareness, users will become more informed. They will expect—and deserve—more from their technology.
Here at FixMeStick, we hope to gain your vote of confidence.