There are a growing number of articles that are highlighting the threat of “cyber-terrorism”. It’s a scary topic that is surely consuming the time of government technology infrastructure professionals in the U.S. and Canada. Some of these articles discuss the remote possibility that terrorists may perpetrate cyber-attacks against critical online government and corporate infrastructure. Other articles discuss the very real possibility that terrorists may simply use the Internet (and the information contained online) to plan attacks in the real world. Don Cavender, a special agent and instructor with the FBI’s Computer Training Unit at Quantico, Virginia, is quoted in an excellent ZDNet article and says that “the worry right now is not so much a cyberterrorism event…but when the terrorists use the Internet to facilitate the planning of these attacks.”
We all know that the Internet is filling up with vast amounts of data including people’s personal information, as well as corporate and government data. The lesson that I take from all of these “cyber-terrorism” related articles is that businesses should make sure that they are working with technology professionals to secure their databases and limit the amount of personal information and corporate data available online. Of course, there are many reasons for businesses to secure their databases and to limit what information is available online. For example, privacy laws such as Canada’s PIPEDA regulate the safeguarding of personal information. And, there are good business reasons to limit the availability of proprietary corporate data online. But, if you ever wished you were Jack Bauer, then here’s your chance to fight terrorism…one corporate move at a time.