Friday, December 21, 2007

Recommended Reading: Cisco Threat Report Includes Increasing Threat from Military and Espionage

It has become a tradition for security companies to issue some type of "annual security report". Most focus on the continued increase in vulnerabilities or incidents and ignore the underlying risk factors that enable threats or increase their impact.

In a welcomed departure from this monotony, Cisco Systems, Inc. has created a new security report that includes not only the standard technical issues but explores seven different areas of risk to enterprises:
  1. Vulnerability
  2. Physical
  3. Legal
  4. Trust
  5. Identity
  6. Human
  7. Geopolitical
The section of geopolitical issues includes discussions on terrorism, environmental issues and a discussion on military and espionage threats in cyberspace:
Emergence of Cyberspace as a Major Theatre for War and Espionage

As industries, governments, and individuals have become more connected over the past decade, cyberspace has become an increasingly significant domain for military and espionage activities. Examples in 2007 include:
  • The creation of a “Cyber Command” by the U.S. Air Force, demonstrating the U.S. military’s recognition of cyberspace as a major area of military focus, both in terms of defense and as a potential launching point for offensive action
  • Growing evidence of international espionage as the motive behind network attacks in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, and elsewhere
  • Arrests and convictions of a large number of individuals who were caught stealing sensitive intellectual property and selling it to foreign governments
  • Accusations by political opponents of Russian president Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin had orchestrated network security attacks against them
  • Network security attacks in Estonia, which brought down many government and financial computers

The report gives high level recommendations and potential issues to address in 2008.

Cisco 2007 Annual Security Report

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