Complacency Kills

Just because cyber attacks so far have not had a dramatic impact on most people’s everyday lives does not mean we should become complacent, said Adm. Michael Rogers, head of US Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, on Jan. 21. Speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., Rogers said he believes many people are “becoming increasingly numb” to cyber attacks, because they are so common and usually do not have a significant personal impact. For example, he noted, if someone’s credit card number is stolen, they can generally report it and not be held financially responsible. However, he said, if the intent of cyber attackers changes, the impact may also change. “I would argue it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Rogers said. Additionally, as connectivity and exposure increases, the US must find new ways to protect against attacks, rather than pushing back on the technology or arguing about whether increased connectivity is a good idea, he said. “We’ve got to come up with a solution set that is built around the idea that [the] internet … and the broad ideas that it represents are something foundation to our future,” Rogers said. “We are not going to walk away from this.”