The actions in Iraq and Iran over these past few days have caused a renewed attention on the protection of America’s critical infrastructure.  We have an adversary that lacks the ability to send missiles to our homeland now making violent proclamations of an intent to harm America and Americans.  And while we have an understanding that while we have assets in the region that could be targets, experienced threat analysts naturally turn to Iran’s capability to use the Internet to project harm on our homeland via the Internet.

Over the past decade as the internet has grown more dominant in our daily lives, it too has grown dominant in the operations of our nation’s critical infrastructure. Our communications, transportation, finance, healthcare, energy, manufacturing and more are all now inexorably linked with the internet and other computing technology.  While this has made these services vastly more efficient, it has also opened up a new vulnerability to America.  And because the companies that build and operate many of these systems that we count on every day are not part of the government, there has existed a gap between their fiduciary and national security responsibilities.  It is precisely that gap that adversaries like Iran may seek to exploit in today’s times of trouble.

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