The title of this blog sounds like the plot of a “Jason Bourne” espionage thriller. But it’s not the plot of a movie. This actually happened on April 23 when the Associated Press’ Twitter handle was compromised and a tweet was posted saying that there had been two explosions at the White House and President Obama had been injured.
In two minutes, the New York Stock Exchange fell 140 points based on 140 characters.
As a CEO, I struggle with the fact that in just two minutes – and based on a single false tweet – our economic market was so significantly shaken. That’s the type of power and control that terrorists pursue – whether they employ a bomb or a computer to achieve it.
While I’m not a cyber security expert, I appreciate its critical importance to ParenteBeard as well as the larger business world, our economy and our national security. In the wake of this incident, I’ve had discussions with some very smart and dialed-in members of our team who focus on our corporate cyber security. Suffice to say, I find myself both scared and fascinated by the wide-ranging challenges we face.
But what I have found most enlightening is the near uniform response to the question, “Are we doing all that we can to prevent this from happening again?” Consistently, the answer has been no. And more consistently, the need for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has been mentioned.
This bill, which would establish protocols and standards for online protection and encourages businesses to work together to prevent crippling cyber attacks, reflects a real national strategy. And while it’s been vetoed before, I’m hopeful it might be revisited by our legislators, especially in the wake of this incident. I think we can all agree that the safety of private industry, infrastructure, banking and consumer commerce is too important to leave open to such risk.
I would love to hear your thoughts on cyber security and CISPA. Are we doing enough? Too little? Is enough action being taken by Congress to thwart a cyber attack aimed at devastating our economy or breaching our national security? Let’s keep this conversation going.
Thanks for stopping by.