Rearming for Cyber-warfare. War costs moneys and it is no brainers that the wealthy state with a bigger economy can always awash weapons of mass destruction at a moment notice to turn the tide of war.
In cybersecurity or rather cyber-warfare, funds are needed to upgrade hardware, technology and communications before assembling trained men dedicated to defend or attack. Recently, the United States (US) government has put this strategy to broad uses much like the military rearmament for any foreseeable future cyber-warfare.
Cyber-warfare policy worth USD700 billion
On Monday, 18 Sep 2017, the US Senate has passed a bill worth a “whoppy” USD700 billion war chest to create the country’s first ever cyber warfare policy. The draft was dubbed as a defense authorization bill and involved the use of offensive digital weapons as well as spending USD500 million in the modernization of federal information technology.
The modernization and technological software upgrade will come as handy as previously the US government sector was ranked lowly, at the bottom two places or 16th out of 18 industries compiled by the SecurityScorecard, a security risk rating agency.
Protection of strategic resources.
After the pumping many greenbacks into development of offensives cyber-weapons, US has also developed battle plans in protecting strategic resources of raw materials like oil and natural gases.
As such, the US Department of Energy (DOE) had introduced 20 cybersecurity projects to protect the American electric grid, and oil and natural gas infrastructure. Award up to USD50 million will be granted by DOE to support early stage research and development of next-generation tools and technologies in protection of strategic energy resources.
So far, the department has invested more than USD270 million over the past seven years in cybersecurity research development, and demonstration projects that are led by industry, universities and DOE’s National Laboratories.
Australia joins the rearmament race
US is not alone in the rearmament race of cybersecurity, the Australian government has pledged AUD50 million (USD39.7 million) over the seven years to build up its cyber security capability through a new cybersecurity cooperative research centre (CRC).
Additional funding of AUD89 million or USD70.8 million for the CRC will come from other channels such as from around 25 industry players, research and government partners. All these funds are part of the grander Australia’s AUD 240 million Cyber Security Strategy which formed the defensive shield in preventing attacks from any state-sponsored attackers or from any organized crime syndicates. Furthermore, the country has branched out to liaise with its “cyber-allies” in the region such as Singapore for a “joint cybersecurity exercise.”
Small is beautiful
Cybersecurity funds for Australia may seem like a dwarf as compared to more holistic “defense and attack” strategy adopted by US. But the notion is clear, each country should do its part and set aside resources for cybersecurity.
As a city-state, Singapore plays its part in cybersecurity with an upfront injection of USD12 million under its National Cyber Security R&D Program. The funding will go to finance around 9 public-private research projects in data protection and encryption as well as analysis report on malware attacks. The island-nation has recently prioritized cybersecurity in its borders and the topic even make it ways into its National Budget 2017.
Small it may be, but cybersecurity in Singapore is armed to its teeth. The city-state is ranked high and always placed among the top ten attacking countries by Threatmap, a web agency that tracks malicious cyber-attacks across the globe. In 18th to 19th September 2017, Singapore was even crowned as “numero uno” consecutively for being the top cyber attacker of the world.