Social Media Resilience for Mitigation of a Cyber Attack

Laurie Flynn recently published an article on “Underestimating the Looming Cyber-Threat Would Prove Perilous”.

It brought to mind the adage ” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. But, as Laurie points out in her article, initiatives to prevent a Cyber-attack are often times met with resistant for varying reasons. One is the perception of privacy violations. An example is the “Perfect Citizen” program by the National Security Agency (NSA). The intent was to trigger an alarm in the event of an impending intrusion by analyzing the vectors where cyber-attacks could occur, typically the points at which a private network connects to the Internet. Privacy advocates were not pleased with this method.

In addition to obstacles such as privacy issues, there is the cruel reality that the malicious code is more than likely already implanted in our infrastructure waiting to be triggered. Detection may be after the fact and mitigation difficult.

Considering these issues brings us to the conclusion that there may be no ‘prevention’, referring back to the adage mentioned earlier, and no “cure’. The plan then should be ‘preparedness’. Public sector and the private sector need to work together on preparing for a cyber attack and mitigating the impact.

Social Media would be one of the effective tool used in the preparedness process. Social Media is the collection of communication channels that has proven to be incredibly resilient. As mentioned in our earlier post, Social Media has Grown Up, we reference the PS-Prep voluntary Federal regulation as just one of the compliance regulations that Social Media can assist.

Also, as stated on the FEMA Web Site, FEMA has been engaging in Web 2.0 tools and on social media sites nationwide as part of its mission to prepare the nation for disasters. FEMA’s goals with social media are: to provide timely and accurate information related to disaster preparedness response and recovery; provide the public with another avenue for insight into the agency’s operations; and engage in what has already become a critical medium in today’s world of communications. FEMA’s social media ventures function as supplemental outreach, and as appropriate channels for unofficial input. via FEMA: Use Of Social Media Tools At FEMA.

We need to keep discussing this subject. The potential of Cyber Attacks is a reality. The Internet cannot be looked at as only a Federally controlled infrastructure, when it is not. It is open. This makes the Internet the joint responsibility of the Public and the Private sector.

The power and resilience of Social Media needs to be brought in to the Emergency Management processes of the public and private sectors of preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from an emergency, such as a Cyber Attack

If we keep our supply chains running and private enterprises operating, then the enemy will have failed in their attack.

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