Cyber threats have changed the face of war but Estonia’s president suggests the greatest threats are not to military targets and critical infrastructure, but intellectual property instead, GCN reports.
Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington Thursday that there is too much focus on the military side of cyber warfare.
Ilves suggests the real concern is the safety of government and industry intellectual property because he sees such property as the economic engine of Western nations.
According to Ilves, government and industry should abandon their proprietary intelligence-based cybersecurity approach and take on a more collaborative effort to guard their intellectual property from nations and organizations teaming to compromise it.
Organizations have been slow to recognize the persistance of cyber attacks and how to mitigate them.
Ilves cites NATO as it is just recognizing the need to build its cyber capabilities.
The alliance, which bases its cyber defense center in Estonia, pledged to increase its cyber defense capability in 2012.
However, Ilves claims that most have yet to understand the persistence of cyber threats, according to the report.
The Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office issued a report Wednesday indicating nearly 75 industries rely heavily on intellectual property.
More than 27 million American jobs are accounted for in those heavily intellectual property-reliant industries, according to GCN.
Commerce’s report suggests companies that are more confident their intellectual property is protected are more likely to pursue advances that push efficiency forward, costs down and employment up.
While this may be the case, Ilves said the lack of cooperation is putting a rut in protecting intellectual property.
The stringent separation between public- and private-sector activities limits the willingness to share intelligence to create a cooperative defense method, Ilves said.
Ilves said that nations are also reluctant to share cyber intelligence with one another, which puts them at a disadvantage.