Our Scariest Terrorism Risk – Cyber Terrorism: Potentially Paralyzing

Scariest Risks

Scariest Risks
The risk of cyber terrorism directed at U.S. targets (either the private sector or the U.S. Government) continues to evolve into a potentially catastrophic and genuine possibility.

Just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called for the U.S. to beef up its cyber defenses. He warned that a cyber attack by a nation state or terrorists on the U.S. could be America’s “cyber Pearl Harbor” and “be just as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”

Earlier this year, FBI Director Robert Mueller said cyber threat will surpass terrorism as the number one threat facing the U.S.

The evolution and advancement of this particular risk has an inherent tie to the amount by which we rely upon and utilize electronic means, such as the internet, to conduct operations and execute normal activities. The risk becomes even more complex given the interconnectivity of our global networks.

What is one, if not the top priority, of most terrorist attacks? The answer is to cause as much destruction to the target, and create as much fear, as possible.

It is difficult to imagine a scenario that would be more destructive or cause more fear than a cyber-attack crippling the U.S. financial system, railways, power grid or other critical infrastructure.

This post was part of the special feature about Our Scariest Risks, published October 29, 2012. The feature also included these other risks:

About Justin Conway

Justin is a national resource in Terrorism, Political Violence and Trade Disruption for Willis’ SECURENET divisio…
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