Homeland Security faces many distresses day in day out managing to outmaneuver some, and some are just inevitable. However, among them is one that is advancing at a dangerous rate: cyber security. The heightened growth rate is because of the high rate with which technology is advancing. The internet, which consists of billions of interconnected computers, has just increased the potential of this “goblin”. Cyber security has been on our necks ever since networking came to life. Once the information goes on board the network, its safety is no longer guaranteed. It is prone to compromise any time and once it falls into the wrong hands, provided its sensitive information, it can be used against you in ways such as blackmail, fraud, etc. therefore, homeland security is still digging where several others have tried and failed. What makes them feel they can do differently to clinch the many menacing attributes of this problem? This brings us to the question at hand: what can the department of Homeland Security implement to mitigate the increasing threats to cyber security and privacy protection? (Brenner, 2013)
Every organization must have a game plan to achieve their goals and am betting Homeland Security is no exception. This question is quite significant because first and foremost agree that the twenty-first century has been the dawning age of the computer era. Technology has been on the rise with innovations from every part of the world. As much as this is way advantageous to the world, it gave birth to a new problem. Security of the network is now at its peak. No government, no organization and even no person can claim that he or she is safe from being victimized by this issue. What makes it a prime and ripe topic for discussion is the fact that it is as old as the internet but yet transcends time so that it still in existence and stronger a problem than ever.
In relation to the thesis above, formulation of a hypothesis was imperative, and one came up. It states that the development and implementation of a government-wide plan of cyber counterintelligence would be beneficial. Indeed, an idea of cyber counterintelligence is essential for proper coordination of all the activities of government agencies in order to identify, deter and counter foreign-backed cyber intelligence threats to the United States and information systems of the private sector. To realize the set objectives, the plan launches and enlarges the cyber intelligence awareness. Also, education initiatives and development of a workforce to incorporate cyber intelligence into the operations and analysis, intensify the employee cognizance of the cyber security and privacy threats and escalate inter-governmental counterintelligence collaboration (Dunn, 2013).
This means sifting through every bit of data seeking and searching for any trace of cyber security. The culprits need to be tracked down, and safety for cyber data enhanced. Easier said than done; this is not an easy schedule to just set up casually and impose it on the system. That is not how it works. It demands a lot of work and to guarantee success one needs to view this as a whole new system and should follow guidelines for designing and installing a new systems system. Information analysts should be at the center of operations and protocols for identifying and stopping cyber-crimes should be set up. The virtual world being a tricky place to be it will be mandatory that once such a plan is in action, the party responsible for running this operation should be careful they are not victims of robbery of their information. This implies they should employ the latest technologies of media protection to keep out nosy people out of their system. This will also ensure that they are always one step ahead of the cyber criminals (Casti, 2012).
The hypothesis identified earlier consists of three variables, namely; implementation of cyber counterintelligence plan (independent variable), threats (dependent variable) and the focus on government (control variable). The independent variable, the implementation of cyber counterintelligence plan, is a variable that can be controlled and manipulated to determine the eventual effect on the levels of threats to cyber security and privacy protection. Measurement of the implementation efforts and strategies is critical to determine how they minimize or increase the cyber threats. On the other hand, the threats as the dependent variable, is subject to many aspects. One of the aspects is the independent variable; low levels of implementations of a cyber-counterintelligence plan. This would imply higher threat levels to cyberspace security and privacy control. The levels of exposure measurements would be useful as a determinant of the degree of risks. Higher levels of implementation would mean lower levels of threats to cyber security. These exposure levels will be helpful as a scale of measurement of the levels and degrees of threat that are troubling the nation.
The control variable is the focus on the government. It will remain constant and unchanged and would be used to test the relative effects of the independent variable. The control variable will be measured by establishing the effect they have on the independent variable. This is an evaluation study of the efficiency of the hypothesis put forth. By keeping tabs on the plan, we can scout for weaknesses of the system and reinforce them with contingencies. We can also keep an eye out for any potential problems that are underlying in the battle against cyber insecurity. By being prepared for any eventualities ensure, a much better reaction to problems and no lapse can be part of this plan. Such level of preparation will be our assuring factor that we are always close behind the cyber criminals and arrest then on their tracks as they commit evils.
This hypothesis is a viable venture and seems one that can guarantee nations cyberspace security and privacy protection, and I choose to stand for it. It has its downsides such as the implementation costs attached to the implementation of this plan. However, before the country decides to implement this plan of action, it must have put into consideration the cost implications this plan has. What is encouraging about this project is its potential success rate which I would like to award it slightly over seventy percent. It may not be the ultimate defender of the cyberspace, but may be the best chance and probably the only hope of getting a grip on this menacing issue of cyber insecurity. With Homeland Security coordinating the efforts of this plan, checking every possible cyber-crime within the network and hunting down the perpetrators. This program gets complementary efforts from the fluid operations of security agencies of countries today. Therefore, intelligence is shared fast, the criminals quickly tracked down minimizing their hideouts, and getting them out of the way will make the internet a safe place (Brenner, 2013).
With technological support in conjunction with the resource of the country, Homeland Security will have a division up and running with full credentials and proper directives guiding it. Its advantages to the nation are remarkable. Imagine a country having full proof mechanisms that prevent every possible loophole of leakage of its secrets to the enemies. This will deny enemies loopholes to explore to try bringing down the country with foul play. A nation’s secrets are well protected from the wrong ears (Dunn, 2013). The country will also have found a way of preventing individuals from trying to blackmail the government or selling of government secrets to the highest bidders. Foul players remain at bay and crime is once again minimized. Boosting cyberspace security will also limit the potential of war emerging. With nations willing to pay billions of dollars for government secrets of rival countries so that they may exploit them to be a better nation (Brenner, 2013).
One can imagine the magnitude of the problem at hand but this situation has a remedy, which lies in the hypothesis above. It will take a lot of time for the security agencies to decipher the source of the attack yet a simple explanation is relevant. The problem emanated as a cyber-attack and escalated to a terrorist level. If the system that gathered intelligence on such attacks and had contingencies for such an attack by use of sophisticated technology, an attack like this would bear no fruition. It will be the governments to update this division with the latest equipment in the market to fight cyber-crime. With full clearance, this division will wage a cyberspace attack on all cyber criminals. First, letting them know they are no longer safe to keep them on the run and reduce the level of crime in place (Deibert, 2009).
Another potential source of crime is the fact that everything today is under connection through the internet. In the year 1960, the internet was built in order to promote collaboration among a small and trusted cluster of scientists who worked with the government and a few universities dispersed geographically. Their fault was not building the internet, in fact; it was among the greatest inventions ever. Their mistake was making it without a security layer. They admitted they felt no reason for security, but this was before 1992 when the United States passed a law that using the internet for commercial purposes was illegal. When the law was later removed, it provided billions of people with a source of livelihood with the improved connection to everything. However, there was another side to this. Letting the internet free without any security gave birth to a whole new set of vulnerabilities. The whole world took up this network and made it the backbone of national and international economics and transactions, never realizing it were a porous network (Glenny & Kavanagh, 2012).
Agreeable is the fact that the internet is one great invention, but it will even be better if its insecurity is something of the past. Connection of everything to the network exposes everything to a whole new level of threat. Terrorists can easily utilize this loophole and initiate attacks that will cause panic in many parts of the world. Having a division of Homeland Security that takes care of cyberspace security will have a keen eye on every part of the country as well as every facility whose protection is in the best interest of the country. Therefore, so doing will ensure that every possible threat that is applicable to cyber-crime is adequately trained for. An additional advantage is that the intelligence might be picked along the way by this division that may be crucial to the country either to prevent an impending attack or probably a means to outmaneuver a crisis. This will help the government assure its citizens that it has control over insecurity matters, at least the ones that pertain to the internet (Huey & Rosenberg, 2004).
The twenty-first century's characteristic is an impending battle – a cyber-war. Many nations are arming themselves adequately for the cyber battle. Importation of technology is among the priorities of the governments. This is going on despite the fact that they have no idea of how these battles will be like. No one knows exactly what he or she will be fighting against in this struggle. All they know is that malice should not exist on the internet. Well, if you ask me, this is quite a great plan but for clarity I beg to pose a question; would it not be better if everyone knew and understood what or who the enemy is. Providing this knowledge should be the priority of the division. A proper understanding of the crime will make even a child a perfect soldier against this vice. And who better to provide this knowledge than a department of homeland security dedicated to fighting cyber-crime. This hypothesis is quite an effective one if given a chance. As seen above, measuring it against two possible scenarios that possess potential for immense danger to the security of the nation, it has proven a viable venture for the Homeland security division (Cyberwarfare: Connecting the Dots in Cyber Intelligence, 2011).
Enacting this hypothesis will give considerable control over the internet. With the control comes the ability to put limitations that will help limit the free hovering of cyber criminals through the internet seeking of innocents to swindle. They will also be able to filter out potential terrorists by filtering out terror-related messages and emails. By integrating a system of such potential with the terrorist handlers, intelligence will be free flowing, and the security agencies will be able to keep at bay potential terrorists. The applicability of such a strategy is limitless especially in a country as sophisticated as the United States in terms of technology. Being a world leader in technology and labeled a superpower in terms of economy, it has the potential to keep tabs of all potential cyber terrorists and criminals throughout the world since the internet can make that possible by connecting them to every computer in the world (Panton et al., 2014).
The hypothesis of the proposed thesis may be the hope for cyberspace to acquire an element of security. Cyberspace is very crucial, as it is the backbone of every economy in the world. Compromising it is equal to compromising the economies of nations in the world. Therefore, protecting it is a priority for every country. States will fight to protect its information from falling into the wrong hands. If we decide to do nothing about the state of cyber security, the repercussions are quite severe, and losses will be substantial (Deibert, 2009). This is why every ounce of sweat must be productive in fighting this battle. This thesis has given us insight into cyber security and a probable hypothesis to the problem is now in place.
The analysis of the thesis has proven its viability making it an important step towards putting in check the state of cyber security. With homeland security in the forefront against the enemy, it is essential that we support them in every way. Be it our co-operation or finance, our governments should be willing to participate in the uprooting of this problem. Securing the internet will rid the world of one more problem and give them time to recollect and gather their resources against other vices that are troublesome just as much.
Brenner, J. F. (2013). Eyes wide shut: The growing threat of cyber-attacks on industrial control systems. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 69(5), 15-20.
Casti, J. (2012). President Obama has his mind on security when talking about the cyber threat. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 7(8), 26.
Cyberwarfare: Connecting the Dots in Cyber Intelligence. (2011). Communications of the ACM, 54(8), 132-140.
Deibert, R. J. (2009). The Virtual Absence of Malice: Cyber Security and Threat Politics. International Studies Review, 11(2), 373-375.
Dunn Cavelty, M. (2013). From Cyber-Bombs to Political Fallout: Threat Representations with an Impact in the Cyber-Security Discourse. International Studies Review, 15(1), 105-122.
Glenny, M., & Kavanagh, C. (2012). 800 Titles but No Policy—Thoughts on Cyber Warfare. American Foreign Policy Interests, 34(6), 287-294.
Huey, L., & Rosenberg, R. S. (2004). Watching the Web: Thoughts on Expanding Police Surveillance Opportunities under the Cyber-Crime Convention. Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice, 46(5), 597-606.
Panton, B. C., Colombi, J. M., Grimaila, M. R., & Mills, R. F. (2014). Strengthening DOD Cyber Security with the Vulnerability Market. Defense Acquisition Research Journal: A Publication of the Defense Acquisition University, 21(1), 465-484.