A18 INTERVIEW India Abroad January 10, 2014
Cyber threats are on the rise and intelligence agen- cies across the world agree that it cannot be taken lightly. Peter Warren Singer, senior fellow and
director, Centre for 21st Century Security and
Intelligence, Brookings Institution, and Allan Friedman,
fellow in governance studies and research director,
Centre for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution
have authored the book Cybersecurity and Cyberwar.
The book provides interesting details pertaining to
issues and characteristics of cyber-security. Singer discusses his book, which released January 3.
What is your book about?
Our entire modern way of life, from communication to
commerce to conflict, depends on the Internet, and the
resultant cyber-security issues challenge literally everyone.
We face new questions in everything from our rights
and responsibilities as citizens of both the virtual and real
world, to how to protect our companies, our nations, and
our families from a new type of danger.
And, yet there is perhaps no issue so important that
remains so poorly understood. In Cybersecurity and
Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, we try to provide the kind of easy-to-read yet deeply informative
resource book that has been missing on this crucial issue.
Written in a lively, accessible style, filled with engaging
stories and illustrative anecdotes, the book is structured
around the key questions of cyber-security: how it all
works, why it all matters, and what we can do.
Along the way, we take readers on a tour of the important (and entertaining) issues and characters of cyber-security, from the ‘Anonymous’ hacker group and the
Stuxnet computer virus to the new cyber units of the
Chinese and US militaries.
How serious is the cyber threat today and do you see it
becoming more worrisome in the days to come?
It is both growing and perhaps hyped. That is, cyberspace is a realm on which we all depend, for commerce,
for communication, social networks, and yes, conflict.
The threats in it are multiplying in their scale, their
scope and now, as Stuxnet pioneered, in their ability to
cause damage in the real world. This will continue.
That said, we should not just throw our hands up and
act like nothing can be done. This is a realm where there
have been over 30,000 articles written about ‘Cyber
Terrorism’ and yet no person has ever been hurt or killed
by cyber terrorism.
Let me be clear, it is not that terrorists do not use or
The author of Cybersecurity and
Cyberwar discusses hot-button issues
with Vicky Nanjappa
I SHOULD BE ABLE BOTH TO POST A JOKE OR
COMMENT ABOUT A POLITICAL LEADER AND NOT
WORRY IT WILL LAND ME IN JAIL, AS WELL AS CHECK
MY PERSONAL ONLINE BANK ACCOUNT, AND NOT
WORRY IT WILL BE STOLEN. IF WE DON’T WATCH OUT,
THESE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE INTERNET COULD BE
RISKED IN THE YEARS AHEAD.
RESILIENCE IS WHAT MATTERS
MOST IN THIS REALM, NOT
TRYING TO PREVENT EVERY
DANGER, AS YOU NEVER WILL
SUCCEED AT THAT. WHAT
MATTERS MORE IS HOW YOU
COPE WITH THE DANGERS.
COURTES Y: BROOKINGS. EDU
H YUNGWON KANG/REUTERS
The threat level
displayed on a
monitor at the