Defending our “Cyber” Country

We live in world where it is hard to separate traditional space from cyber space.  They have truly become one as we increasingly rely on our extensive digital infrastructure to tie our lives together.  But, have you ever thought about the difference between how we protect our streets and cities versus how we protect their cyber counterparts?

Our townships, cities, counties, states, and even our nation have elaborate and interconnected layers to protect us from fires, fools, felons and floods.  Does any such thing exist for that cyber counterpart?  The answer is largely…NO!  Our leadership has recognized that this gap exists, but how do we protect the cyber part of our lives, and still adhere to the constitutional bedrock that makes our nation great?  How do we extend the protection, that I’m sure we all agree is fundamental, from traditional “3-space” to this new cyber domain?

I propose the model is one we built our nation around…a militia model.  We must work together to secure our own infrastructures and help our neighbors secure theirs.  It would be blatantly unconstitutional to force a standing post of police, fire, or military “agents” on our digital terrain, but we would likely invite their help when the cyber equivalent of fires, fools, felons, or floods threaten our expanded world.

This militia-oriented model is the essence of our free, yet collaborative society, and I think we can use its rich history as an effective model to apply what we learned in building, and then protecting, our great nation’s physical infrastructure to this new dimension of our nation.

What do you think?

Dave Denson, Big Data Solutions Architect, NetApp U.S. Public Sector