Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

cybersecurity 2019

(Jefferson Santos, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Amy Jordan, Delivery Lead, Centre for Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum


The internet is a vastly complicated patchwork of protocols, data and codes, which only a limited number of true tech geeks really understand. And yet it pervades our day-to-day lives on a scale no one could have envisaged when the world wide web was created only 30 years ago.

New technologies and applications are arising at a dizzying speed, and it’s not only consumers who are trying to keep pace with the array of new offerings at their disposal. Security professionals are also trying to keep up with the implications of new devices and their uses, and to ensure that they cannot be turned against their users or put to use for malicious purposes.

At the same time as defending against the misuse of new technologies, the fundamental technical architecture of the internet itself appears to be increasingly under threat from those who wish to seek new ways to attack and undermine it.

In January this year, the US Department of Homeland Security issued an ‘emergency’ security alert which urged federal civilian agencies to secure the login credentials for their internet domain records. This went largely unnoticed by mainstream media, but in fact it raises some serious questions about the future security of the underlying architecture of the internet. In follow-up reports, Microsoft estimated that attackers have “already caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages by stealing secret data and wiping information from the computer networks of 200 companies over the past two years”.

What is DNS and why does it matter?

When we want to visit a webpage, we type in an address such as www.weforum.org (otherwise known as a domain name). Behind the scenes, a system called the Domain Name System converts this name into a series of numbers called an internet protocol (IP) address that allows computers to identify each other and, via domain name servers, to map the name you have typed onto an IP address.

Without this system, it would be pretty complicated to find our way around the internet – the DNS is therefore a fundamental part of the internet’s architecture. The management of the DNS is coordinated and managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is a global, multi-stakeholder and not-for-profit organization which seeks to ensure the stability and security of the DNS.

This is no easy task, and as the recent security alert demonstrated, is one which is becoming increasingly challenging. This is due to the fact that some malicious actors have started to manipulate the domain name system by hijacking some internet traffic and rerouting it to potentially malicious IP addresses. This is commonly known as a ‘man in the middle’ attack. These attacks are often used for example to redirect consumers to fake banking websites and to fraudulently obtain money or data, such as login details, from unwitting consumers.

Three ways in which the global community can help secure the internet

Whilst it raises some serious questions about the security of this core element of the internet, all is not lost. There are already technologies in place which can prevent this type of attack, but the challenge is in ensuring that they are properly implemented. ICANN are running a series of collaborative events to discuss how to better secure the DNS and other fundamental elements of the internet’s core architecture. Three things which can be done are:

Internet service providers can implement DNS security measures by default to ensure that the internet traffic they carry is correctly routed. This has the potential to protect millions of customers.

Businesses should ensure they have implemented basic security measures, and demand that their communications providers also have DNS security in place, as well as features which enable secure e-mailing.

Hardware providers also have a role to play in building in DNS security, which can help prevent attacks being launched through vulnerabilities in the hardware itself.

The security of the internet is only as strong as its weakest link. It is in the interests of both public and private sectors to work together to ensure that they get the basics right and to shore up the security of the internet for the good of all. Here at the World Economic Forum we are committed to supporting ICANN’s work to support DNS security and to making the internet safer for everyone.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is where obesity places the biggest burden on healthcare

Things are bad and getting worse for South Africa. Or are they?

UN calls for action to tackle ‘ubiquitous but invisible’ global road safety crisis

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

‘The welfare of the Libyan people’ the UN’s sole agenda for the country, says Guterres in Tripoli

Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) of 22/05/2018: EU relations with key trading partners

‘Counter and reject’ leaders who seek to ‘exploit differences’ between us, urges Guterres at historic mosque in Cairo

These clothes were designed by artificial intelligence

Senior UN adviser sees ‘rare’ victory for humanitarian diplomacy as aid convoy reaches desert camp in Syria

Let us keep ‘their spirit of service alive’: Guterres leads tributes to UN workers who died in Ethiopia crash

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

Europe provides financial support to African countries while Turkey denies to change terrorism laws jeopardising the EU deal

MWC 2016 LIVE: Gamelab founder talks Apple TV, VR and monetisation

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

The relationship between Dengue and the rainfall in Boa Vista, Brazil

International Court of Justice orders Pakistan to review death penalty for Indian accused of spying

Here’s how to bring agility into the boardroom

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

How we can work together in the fight against NCDs

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

Sudan: New political transition, bolstered by peacebuilding, could bring long-term stability to Darfur, Security Council told

UN human rights office urges Egypt to immediately release detained protestors

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

UN honours peacekeepers who ‘paid the ultimate price’, for the sake of others

3 technologies that could define the next decade of cybersecurity

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

‘Violence, atrocities and impunity’ reign throughout Libya, ICC prosecutor tells UN Security Council

Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

GSMA Announces Final Event Lineup for Highly Anticipated 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Hunger, displacement and disease: 4.3 million people remain in dire need of aid in Chad

Q&A on the 19th China-EU Summit to be held on 01-02 June 2017 in Brussels

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

To tackle climate change, we need city diplomacy

How can newspapers survive? By measuring their social impact

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

Can the national and age groups pockets of unemployment cause irreparable damages to Eurozone?

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

‘Disaster resilient’ farming reduces agriculture risks, yields economic gains, says new UN agriculture agency report

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Human rights breaches in Iran, Egypt and Tanzania

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

Over 80 per cent of schools in anglophone Cameroon shut down, as conflict worsens

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Ingredients for a new life: how cooking helps refugees and migrants blend in

The ECB accuses the politicians of inaction, continues injecting billions to banks

Investment and Financing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): EU and Chinese stakeholders share their views at European Business Summit 2018

How Big Food is responding to the alternative protein boom

MEPs call for EU rules to better protect minorities’ rights

Estonia is making public transport free

Cohesion Policy: EU invests €880 million to improve Poland’s railway system

Political power of women suffering ‘serious regression’, General Assembly President warns

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s