Security is of paramount importance
The term security is one of the key words that we use more often than we would like to. Unfortunately the bombings and attacks like the one experienced at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport scare us all. I am sure this incident will make government officials step up their physical security projects. There is already a law waiting to be voted on to arm private security guards with weapons. However, I am betting that cybersecurity will be forgotten. Last year the entire Aegean electricity grid stopped working after a cyberattack and everything in the whole region came to halt. I cannot imagine what would happen if the same happened in and around Istanbul, where most of our factories and businesses are located.
The U.S. Department of Defense defines cybersecurity as follows: Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risks stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy or threaten the delivery of essential services. A range of traditional crimes are now being perpetrated through cyberspace. This includes the production and distribution of child pornography and child exploitation conspiracies, banking and financial fraud, intellectual property violations and other crimes, all of which have substantial human and economic consequences.
Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure due to a number of factors: The ability of malicious actors to operate from anywhere in the world, the linkage between cyberspace and physical systems and the difficulty of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks. Of growing concern is the cyber threat to critical infrastructure, which is increasingly subject to sophisticated cyber intrusions that pose new risks. As information technology becomes increasingly integrated with physical infrastructure operations, there is increased risk for wide-scale or high-consequence events that could cause harm or disrupt services upon which our economy and the daily lives of millions of Americans depend. In light of the risk and potential consequences of cyber events, strengthening the security and resilience of cyberspace has become an important homeland security mission.
I searched but could not find any Turkish defense-related authority’s mission statement as elaborate as this.
For a country which has as many enemies as Turkey, forgetting to take necessary steps to ensure cybersecurity is not an option. Furthermore, Turkey is a country that wants to build nuclear energy. If hackers could bring down an electricity grid, I am very afraid of what they might do to a nuclear facility. The Atatürk Airport incident is still very hot but when things cool down, one of the first issues to improve should be cybersecurity.