It’s like a scenario from a spy book: Russian hackers found their way into the most powerful institutions in the country, aiming to get their preferred candidate elected president. As The Verge reports, the country’s intelligence agencies unanimously agree: “Russian President Vladimir Putin directly intervened in the US presidential election in aid of Donald Trump.” Even though these alleged actions benefited him, Trump still has an obligation to make sure such this never happens again and cyber security should be at the top of his priority list. Let’s examine what these interventions should be and why they matter.
Even though Trump benefited from foreign hacking interference, he still has an obligation to protect all of America from similar cyber attacks. That hacking could influence presidential elections is pretty worrysome. But this year, the world watched as major corporations become embroiled in hacking scandals – Sony and Yahoo both succumbing to breaches, affecting millions of ordinary people and their private details. As cyber security experts at McAfee noted in their overview of these and other companies being targeted, “While the breaches can be embarrassing and costly for the companies themselves it is important not to lose sight of the human cost in all of this.”
In a presidential election, the people of a nation will be affected by who runs their government. In the case of corporations, users can find their personal details being used for criminal activity. Having your finances and identity being stolen is a lot more common than you think. Once they obtain your personal info, hackers can manipulate all sorts of important personal assets, from tax refunds to credit.
The point being, if theft of the ordinary kind is a national issue, then this new, highly sophisticated version must be one, too. And in light of this affecting the highest offices in the country, America needs its current and future commanders-in-chief to be more proactive than ever.
A recent presidential commission made 16 recommendations to improve America’s cyber security. These were made in light of the recent, large-scale hacking scandals.
As CBS News recently reported: “The White House requested the report in February and intended it to serve as a transition memo for the next president.” The commission itself was made up of 12 of the best minds in business, academia, technology and security.
Their recommendations are not law and Trump could ignore any and all warnings the commission makes. But their recommendations make sense on all sorts of levels. For example, they recommend that the Trump administration works with the private sector to help improve security measures for all cyber-related products. They also recommend that everyone take a serious look at the security concerns related to the Internet of the Things. There’s also a big push toward informing consumers about dangers and how they can protect themselves from hacking.
The overall goal that Trump should aim for is getting business, government, and ordinary people to recognize the dangers posed by hackers. No one is immune and everyone could be more secure. Just as everyone recognizes the importance of locking their doors, they must begin taking their digital lives just as seriously.
As we’ve previously pointed out, hackers nearly took out the entire American internet. Even the biggest companies in the world are vulnerable. This is not a time to throw up your hands, but rather to put them on your keyboard and begin protecting yourself and your family. This is what Trump and his administration must begin stressing, with help from businesses. Here’s hoping 2017 will be a year of more people taking cyber security seriously.