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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The United States faces unprecedented cyber security threats, says former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
“The cyber war's going on,” Mr. Ridge said Monday during a keynote address at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America's annual meeting in Hollywood, Florida.
In fact, what Mr. Ridge called the “digital forevermore” is a new and permanent condition facing the United States.
In a few years, the Internet will be like electricity; it will be everywhere, Mr. Ridge said, and the greatest threat to U.S. security and the economy is the digital world.
“Our infrastructure generally is exposed,” and a successful cyber attack on the nation's infrastructure would have dire effects, he said.
Mr. Ridge, who serves as president and CEO of Washington-based consultant Ridge Global since leaving the Homeland Security post in 2005, also predicted that private cyber insurance will play a bigger role in managing the risk.
He said the federal government is likely to look more closely at the private cyber insurance market as a way to enhance cyber security. He said, however, that he did not know whether the government would eventually step in with a cyber insurance backstop as it has for terrorism risk if the private sector can't provide enough coverage.
David Irvine, former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, has said that jihadists will likley launch destructive cyber attacks soon, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.