Web Security Summit: Cyberattacks as Great a Threat as Military

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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The chairman of one of the world's leading telecommunications companies says cyberwarfare could be as dangerous as a military attack.

Speaking at the Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in London Wednesday, BT Group Chairman Michael Rake told government officials and business leaders from around the world that cyberattacks could “bring a nation to its knees” without any military action.

Rake said it is critical that governments and businesses have a higher level of awareness of cybersecurity and cyberattacks. He said cyberattacks are being developed so rapidly that some sort of “cybertechnology nonproliferation treaty” is needed to control what he described as a 21st-century arms race.

He said the ability to create a cyberwarfare scenario is important from a defensive and offensive point of view, and can be an effective way to combat these threats. He said there needs to be a level of trust on national and international levels toward that end.

Recent electronic attacks on large companies have compromised confidential information, crippled official websites and exposed the vulnerability of financial data.

The two-day conference, the second of its kind, is organized by the East West Institute, an international think tank aimed at finding solutions to cross-border security challenges.