Can a cyber-attack induce societal panic in the United States? According to Jen Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), the answer is yes. Easterly suggests that China has the capability to execute such attacks, potentially causing widespread panic among the American populace.
Easterly underscores the threat posed by ransomware attacks, emphasizing their capacity to instill fear and concern among citizens. She stresses the need for heightened vigilance within the entire business community to address these evolving cyber threats.
Making a startling revelation, Easterly discloses that the Chinese federation has the potential to launch assaults on national infrastructure, posing a serious risk of disrupting the entire government’s functionality, particularly during the preparations for the November 2024 US Elections.
Highlighting China’s capabilities, Easterly points out that Beijing could target power facilities, nuclear systems, water supply systems, and even oil supply. Such an occurrence could potentially trigger widespread panic among the American population.
Despite these concerns, the United States remains resilient and prepared to face such threats. The country has implemented proactive security measures, and the Pentagon is equipped to conduct espionage on adversaries, neutralizing state-funded cyber attacks in advance.
Moreover, the Department of Justice has granted authorization for the cyber arms of law enforcement to eliminate malicious files from government routers infected during a cybercrime group’s operation known as Volt Typhoon, associated with Chinese hacking activities.
Recognizing the collective responsibility in cybersecurity, businesses—whether public or private—are urged to play a crucial role in supporting the Biden administration. Strengthening their security measures, particularly endpoint security adopted by Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs), can contribute to securing national networks on a broader scale through automated solutions.