Protecting Our Future, Volume 2
Protecting Our Future, Volume 2
As we all are aware, cybersecurity continues to be one of the most talked about issues of our time. Hardly a week goes by that one organization or another does not have its digital network breached. Big box retailers such as Target, Home Depot, Michaels, and Neiman Marcus have been attacked. Financial institutions like JP Morgan, Bank of America, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank have been hacked. Newspapers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal saw hackers disrupt their operations, and newspapers in Paris were hacked following terrorist attacks. On the federal government level, the Office of Personnel Management, the United States Postal Service, the State Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Energy Department have had their digital systems attacked. Even the cyber system of the White House was breached. With so many breaches in the news it is small wonder why the conversation in the cyber community is so active with discussion on threats and efforts to mitigate them.
Increasingly the attention of the cyber community has been focusing on the threats to the critical infrastructure of the country. While threats to retailers, movie studios, and newspapers should not be discounted or downplayed, the important infrastructures that bind the nation together are having the spotlight turned on them for protection. Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-21) released in 2013 identified sixteen critical infrastructures that needed immediate and ongoing cyber protection for the nation to continue to function. Those sixteen identified infrastructures are: Chemical; Commercial Facilities; Communications; Critical Manufacturing; Dams; Defense Industrial Base; Emergency Services; Energy; Financial Services; Food and Agriculture; Government Facilities; Healthcare and Public Health; Information Technology; Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste; Transportation Systems; and Water and Wastewater Systems. Each is vital for the economic prosperity and survival of the nation and each is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
In the first volume of Protecting Our Future a distinguished group of writers provided their insights into several critical infrastructures, including: finance, health care, government agencies, and communications. In volume two of Protecting Our Future, we will be taking a close look at additional sectors of our critical infrastructure. The National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with Excelsior College, has once again collected an outstanding group of authors who are recognized for their expertise in their sectors. The sectors that are addressed in this publication are information technology, the chemical industry, commercial facilities, critical manufacturing, water and dams, emergency services, food and agriculture, transportation. The last chapter examines future directions for educating a cybersecurity workforce.
In the first chapter, Dan Shoemaker and Anne Kohnke address the very unique issues that are involved with information security and cybersecurity. Much of our society is interconnected with technology and information. Keeping all the data that is stored in countless servers safe, yet readily available, is a relentless ongoing task. The authors will bring the reader up to date on the latest developments in securing your data, discuss the fundamentals of cybersecurity, common cyber threats, and the skills required to help mitigate those threats. They will also address the numerous rules and regulations that govern the arena of cybersecurity.
We rely heavily on chemicals in most of our manufacturing processes and by their very nature and importance they require special care. Currently there are approximately ten thousand organizations involved in the chemical industry employing nearly a million people and producing more than sevent