The government, institutions, and companies are fast integrating computer systems and computer networks into their activities and processes. This is bound to increase in the future at an accelerating rate. The resulting infrastructures that are highly computer-supported are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism. This includes activities where computer criminals try to access confidential information illegally, cripple or attack infrastructure systems causing damage, death, and physical injuries or spread fear to people. Cyber terrorism is real. This creates the need for the government and concerned parties to come up with measures that would prevent, minimize and prevent cyberattacks and cyber-terrorism. (Larry, 2007)
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Measures being taken to curb cybercrime
Among the measures taken by the United States government and private companies to protect their own systems include administrative measures. Steps have been taken to appoint system administrators who among other things develop and maintain security measures. Users access the system through Identification controls that are frequently updated. Workers are also advised to set up their own passwords which are not easy to guess. (Cordesman, 2002)
As regarding the maintenance and construction of systems, traditional methods of protection are employed. This included the use of firewalls that prevent illegal access to the system, testing for viruses using the relevant software on a frequent basis, and analyzing the system for any weaknesses that could lead to attacks. Relevant staff workers have also undergone training and have access to the necessary tools that would come in handy in emergency situations. This will enable them to be in a capacity to communicate and recover data in the required procedures. (Serge, 2004)
The government and private sector participation
The federal and local government has also set up agencies and empowered concerned ministries to raise awareness in the private sector and ensure that it also implements the measures described above. These guidelines are tailored to meet the needs of industries in different fields. This includes for example Guidelines for the Prevention of Computer Viruses (1995, Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and the Information Systems Security Guidelines (1995, Ministry of International Trade and Industry) among many others. (Sebastian, 2007, p. 44)
The government and the private sector are also independently and in collaboration, conducting research in information technology aimed at raising security levels against cyberattacks. This includes innovating methods that would control unauthorized access to networks besides automatic detection of unauthorized access to networks. (Serge, 2004)
Moreover, apart from setting laws that would deal with cybercrime, the government has set up measures that would improve the investigative process in cases of attacks. For example, the criminal law was revised in 1987 to include fraudulent use of computers, destruction of computers, and illegal production of records as criminal activities. In establishing a legal structure, the government has among other things set up a national police agency to fight cybercrimes. (Larry, 2007).
The federal government is strengthening international cooperation with allies in order to enhance its capacity to better deal with cybercrime. Cooperation in this regard includes joint research ventures and cooperation in investigating, arresting, and monitoring cybercriminals among other ways. (Cordesman, 2002).
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In our current world that has greatly embraced information technology, terrorists and other criminals will increasingly find it attractive to try the cyber in attacking our society. We have seen the federal government; the local government and the private sector come up with measures to counter this threat. An admissible fact may be that under a very vigorous, experienced, well-financed with adequate resources attack network, our infrastructure systems could be easily destroyed. This calls upon the parties concerned to develop strategic and effective measures to fight and hopefully eliminate cyber terrorism.
Cordesman, A. H. (2002) Cyber-Threats, information warfare, and critical infrastructure protection: Defending the U.S. homeland Westport, CT: Praeger.
Larry G. (n.d). ‘Estonian Attacks Raise Concern over Cyber ‘Nuclear Winter,’ Information Week. Web.
Sebastian, S. (2007). “Maj. Gen. Lord Is a Groundbreaker,” Federal Computer Week 21. (34), p. 44.
Serge K. (n.d). What is Cyberterrorism? Computer Crime Research Center. Web.