Cyber Warfare is This Year’s Fashion

If 2007 was the year in which the public and media became aware of the risks of large scale data breaches, then 2008 might prove to be the year that they finally grasp the dangers posed by cyber warfare. There’s certainly a lot of business and publicity building up in this area. Last year’s Die Hard film was only the start.

This month Wired magazine has an interesting feature on the intense competition by 15 military towns to host the Air Force’s new Cyber Command. Clearly there are big budgets to be won playing this new great game. It’s also hitting the conference circuit. Next month I’ll be speaking at Cyber Warfare 2008 in London. And I keep coming across an increasing line of training services from specialist companies such as Abacus IT Security.

Of course one worries about the value we get out of all this. Just what do tens of thousands of cyber soldiers do when there’s no war to fight? Does it mean that we now have a new form of cold war being played out in secret? At the height of the last cold war we had huge numbers of intelligence officers doing little more than creating false trails for the other side. It’s poor value for the taxpayer. But it does create lots of interesting work for IT security professionals.