Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was a recent cybersecurity panelist at the Corncordia Summit in New York. While first mentioning the recent incidents in New York and New Jersey, he also explained that “Notwithstanding the pain and horror associated with a physical attack, the potential for physical, human and psychic impact with a cyber-attack, I think, is far more serious.” And not only is it hacker groups with financial motives, but now we see countries hacking one another as an “element of national power,” said retired U.S. Army General Keith Alexander, “not only to collect information but to hit other countries. It’s continued and will continue to grow.”
In order to combat cybercrime, the panel agreed that better information sharing is pivotal, particularly between government departments, as well as between the government and private sector. Reginald Brothers, Homeland Security’s undersecretary for science and technology, particularly stressed the urgency for better information-sharing. Taking points from all three panelists: cyber-attacks are worsening, they are coming from all over the world and from all types of actors and if we want to successfully combat cybercrime, the private sector must work with the government to join forces.