Airdate: Dec 15, 2016
Scientist: Charles Clancy
Cybersecurity - Warfare
The first line of defense is looking for anomalous behavior.
CyberSecurity - Warfare
Clancy: In the world of Cyber-warfare, you're dealing with a very sophisticated adversary. Typically, these well-funded state-backed organizations are finding new ways in that no one has ever discovered before and, as a result, typical Cyber-defenses are not able to protect against them.
So what is the first line of defense in Cyber-warfare? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Clancy: Because the sorts of attacks we want to detect have never been seen before, we're now looking more at anomalous behavior.
Charles Clancy is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech.
Clancy: Is the computer on this government network sending data to a computer that it's never sent data to before and is it doing so in a volume and a frequency that would be indicative of someone is trying to take data off that system and send it to an adversary? We're looking to identify behavior that's inconsistent with normal behavior.
Once a weakness is discovered, adversaries are able to build a virus that exploits that weakness. Then the the anti-virus companies and the Cyber-defense organizations seek to build defenses against the virus that is exploiting the weakness that was discovered.
This creates an environment where software needs to be updated on a very regular basis. Your computer at home - you keep getting constant pop-ups with certain software applications saying they need to be updated. Much of this is because of security vulnerabilities that have been discovered and proactive efforts by software developers to fix the vulnerabilities before they become avenues for viruses. The biggest thing that people can do to protect themselves there, is to ensure that they're always installing the latest updates to their software, in order to protect against the latest set of viruses that are hitting the internet.
We'll hear more on Cybersecurity in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.