Cybersecurity should be just as much prioritized as issues pertaining to the ongoing wars, the economy, and the healthcare and immigration reforms, said CACI Chief Executive Officer Paul Cofoni in a recent podcast interview with GovInfo Security.
Although continuous efforts by the Obama administration to boost cybersecurity and raise public awareness on safe Internet use, Cofoni said the recent troubles in the Gulf and other major domestic priorities may get in the way of the cyber agenda.
“Cyber defense suffers from being one of many priorities,” he said. “We have to sort out which things are most critical and which things are most urgent. There is the concept of importance and urgent, and those are to be dealt with first. Obviously, oil flowing into the Gulf is both important and urgent–that would get my vote as high priority along with the wars that we’re fighting. But everyone would have a different list–it’s not so much who has the right list as getting a list and sticking to that priority stack and not trying to attack everything at the same time.”
Referencing the oil spill, Cofoni said a cyber attack could have the same effect as the Gulf disaster.
“Cyber could emerge that way,” he said. “If we were attacked and it caused a major disruption to our supply chain, food supply, water supply, a medicine supply, overnight, cyber could suddenly become most visible.”
Although many tend to think of cyber solely as the Internet, or “computer boxes tied to the Internet,” mostly everything in life today and Western society has computer technology embedded in it or associated with it, Cofoni said.
“All of that supply chain, if you will, or configuration, is vulnerable,” he said. “That supply chain is not a supply chain that is domestic; it’s an international supply chain.”