Homeland Security Threats

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The Department of Homeland Security 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review outlines six major challenges that America is facing and will face over the next few years. Those six challenges include: the terrorist threat, cyber threats, biological concerns, nuclear terrorism, transnational criminal organizations and natural hazards (DHS, 2014, 28). The focus of this paper is to address the nature of cyber threats and cyber terrorism in America. When Americans think of the word “terrorism”, most think of the public acts that are carried out against American citizens and broadcasted worldwide. A few that come to mind are the attacks in New York on September 11th and the Boston Marathon bombing in 2012. However, as America and the rest of the …show more content…
Some hackers are harmless, however some are prepared to wreak havoc on America. As our country becomes more and more dependent on technology and computers in everyday life, technology also becomes an important tool for potential terrorist organizations. These organizations can cause critical damage to information systems used by our government. Cyber terrorism is a relatively new word that refers to terrorist organizations or individuals who seek to damage and destroy technological infrastructures such as the Internet (Furnell & Warren, 1998, 1). According to Mark M. Pollit, “the modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun” (Pollit, 2007, 65). He also adds, “Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb” (Pollit, 2007, 66). It is a haunting thought to know that terrorist attacks are taking place behind a computer screen. The fact that cyber terrorism can happen without anyone knowing gives these hackers and terrorist groups an advantage over authorities (Pollitt, 2007, …show more content…
The number one goal is to be prepared for any and every type of cyber attack. One of the first steps taken to thwart cyber terrorism was led by New York Governor George Pataki when he signed the Omnibus Governors’ Program Bill into law. This Bill created legal definitions for an array of terrorist crimes. A second measure taken was by New York senator and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, Michael Balboni. Balboni was responsible for SB 1627, which legally defines cyber terrorism in New York and also making it a Class B felony to initiate a cyber attack on any local, state or federal government computer network (Boulard & Goodwin, 2003, 1). As well as creating the legislature, public officials are creating back-up systems for their databases and information in case of a cyber attack. This is one of the best ways to thwart any cyber activity: by always staying one step ahead of the hackers (Kemp, 2012,

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