If the subject is national security then some of the soldiers must put away the swords and write some codes.
National security is the top priority of governments, which requires collective departmental efforts to provide and maintain. Departments on the forefront of the struggle are Defense, Interior, Intelligence, and Justice, among many others which serve the nation. Malicious activity on cyberspace might be perceived from different viewpoints according the actors involved, methods used, and the impact of cyber attacks. Cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar are the major categories used to define the threat posed on national security. Although government sector owns and operates much less than the private sector in cyberspace, they are the only authority to fight back the cyber adversaries and provide a proactive protection to the nation.
We came a long way from bank robbers carrying gold nuggets on horseback to their hideouts, to hackers breaching systems to make untraceable wire transfers around the world. The complexity of our adversaries increased drastically, having much more intelligent, better trained, and motivated bandits than before. It is inevitable to face higher volumes of hackers joining the ranks of cybercrime syndicates, cyber terrorist organizations, or recruited by state sponsored groups. Some of these adversaries might be purely motivated by financial gains, while other might be politically motivated, or even working under orders to achieve political goals.
Hospitals, clinics, medical treatment centers, laboratories, and pharmacies all have a very important role in providing the critical services they specialize in to maintain the public health. Like many other industries healthcare providers have interdependencies between organization in both public and private sector. Stakeholders need to share information and/or use equipment interconnected through open networks in order to provide the best service to the patients. Cyber adversaries are well aware of our spot spots and infiltrate our healthcare networks to access privileged patient information, sabotage life support systems, and extort or ransom their targets.
Early telecommunications designers were in fact a small community of highly educated engineers and scientists, who have invented some of the basic structures we are still using today. They were architects who have laid the cornerstone of the next evolution in human history, and worked on the blueprint of a new reality which we call cyberspace today. Being immersed in cyberspace and enjoying the high quality telecom services created so much of an added value, it eventually became an integral component of our lives. However, this investment and evolution in our way of life also led to a dependency, which would in its absence disrupt the daily routines, and escalate to chaos in communities.
Oil and gas supply has always been a huge part of international trade, and considered an important item on the national security for many countries. Some depend on the resources, some depend on the revenues, but almost every country needs to either import or export oil and gas. Pipelines go through land, sea, and even cross many border until they reach ports, or mainland distribution centers. Power plants which include hydro, nuclear, or fossil fuel work continuously to convert fuel to electricity, and feed the industry, business, and residential areas. Electric grids reach out to the most remote locations, and cover cities if not whole country. Every single point in this story is a link in the supply chain, and only one weak link is enough to disrupt the daily lives of millions of people.