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The challenges of cyber-security

By Keith Suter - posted Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Citizens seek reassurance that government is somehow "in control" but the threat is now possibly faceless and borderless; potentially disruptive IT knowledge itself knows no boundaries and so may be acquired by anyone. Citizens will come to fear that government cannot protect them.

Finally, government and society are unprepared for the looming problems. The Internet was not designed for all the purposes for which we are now using it and no one predicted how it would come to dominate our lives.

No one evidently thought about how vulnerable the Internet could be from people with malicious motives. As the WannaCry ransomware attack has shown, there are too many points of vulnerability.

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Governments are still on a learning curve. They are too concerned with other immediate, short-term political issues and so they get taken by surprise. Many politicians may also lack the scientific knowledge base with which to consider technological issues.

WannaCry has been yet another reminder of the need to enter the computer era far more cautiously than we have been doing.Tragically a momentum builds up and people feel that they cannot swim against the tide, for example, people are being forced into online banking.

But we need far more caution in adopting IT. Make haste slowly.

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About the Author

Dr Keith Suter is a futurist, thought leader and media personality in the areas of social policy and foreign affairs. He is a prolific and well-respected writer and social commentator appearing on radio and television most weeks.

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