U.S. defense contractors and other technology providers are watching carefully how the Obama administration plans to respond to the growing threat of cyber warfare against computer systems.
It could mean massive federal funds will be used to develop or provide an added layer of protection for strategically important computer systems.
The systems used by the military, financial sector, healthcare and business are among those at risk.
Spending on cyberwarfare globally may total $15.9 billion during 2012, according to analysis from Visiongain. The 15 leading cyberwarfare markets include: the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, Israel, France, Japan, India, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Italy, Pakistan and Norway, according to the report.
Both the private sector and public sector are concerned about the issue.
In fact, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the defense of U.S. computer systems is a top priority, reports CBS News.
“The reality is that there is the cyber capability to basically bring down our power grid … to paralyze our financial system in this country to virtually paralyze our country,” Panetta told CBS. “And I think we have to be prepared not only to defend against that kind of attack but if necessary we are going to have to be prepared to be able to be aggressive when it comes to cyber efforts as well. We've got to develop the technology, the capability, we've got to be able to defend this country.”
The U.S. military set up a cyber command in May 2010. It is under the U.S. Strategic Command, and is located at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to media reports.
The staffing for the command “includes experts not only in information technology, but also in signals intelligence, communications and military operations,” according to a recent report on TechZone360.
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