It’s rarely discussed or even mentioned, but the cybersecurity risk from this critical infrastructure is nothing to scoff at.
Cyber attacks and data breaches happen every day at every hour in the United States, Europe, and around the globe. We’re used to discussing cyber threats in the context of businesses and government entities. But what if the entirety of the internet was at stake?
Deep beneath the surface of everyday web searches and social media browsing is the center of public internet infrastructure. It’s known as the public core and contains software and hardware that everyone uses– from the military, to the bank, to the government, to you. Without this underlying structure, internet services and the world wide web would come to a standstill. Cyber criminals and hackers would gain easy access to restricted information.
While it’s generally ignored by society, the public core lacks safeguards and security measures one would think would be in place for such an important structure. If malicious individuals were to gain access to this global infrastructure, there could be an infinite amount of victims. Hijacking and manipulating this type of public tool would cause catastrophe for many.
Due to the nature of the public core, it lacks a central organization responsible for its care. Any regulations would come in the form of cooperation between many different agencies and countries. Transparency and active collaboration among organizations would secure any sensitive information being transmitted through this process.
Although no one entity owns the public core, it contains such a vast amount of personal information, financial information, and a wide range of other sensitive data, that not prioritizing its cybersecurity is a huge risk. Personal data could easily be compromised via social engineering tactics should someone gain unrestricted access to its inner workings.
Increasing security within the public core would greatly benefit everyone. It would strengthen the ecosystem and prevent unauthorized destruction of the very fabric of the web. Although this issue won’t be solved in a day, it’s imperative that global industries work together to fortify this technological foundation. If not, users everywhere, including you or me, could succumb to the fallout.
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