MADRID – Information and communication technologies have become a central part of everyday life for most of the world’s population. They affect even the most underdeveloped and remote areas of the planet and have become a key factor driving development, innovation, and economic growth.
But this is just the beginning of a fundamental transformation. In the coming years, new technologies, such as the “Internet of things,” 3-D printing, and autonomous vehicles will revolutionize businesses operations, regulatory regimes, and even social conventions.
These technologies generate enormous benefits, but they are also risky, owing to the ease of accessing data and using it for criminal purposes. Cyber attacks are already vastly increasing in number, sophistication, magnitude, and impact. As the world becomes more interdependent and hyper-connected, there is growing concern about the vulnerability of the Internet, an infrastructure on which nearly all economic activities – including trade, energy provision, and the entire financial system – have come to depend.
Cyber attacks take place in a medium, cyberspace, where offensive actions have an advantage over defensive ones. Indeed, most of cyberspace’s infrastructure was designed to ensure its interoperability and openness, often at the expense of security, which tends to limit usability.