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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

Afghanistan: UN condemns blasts that leave 8 dead at cricket stadium

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

E-Government can be a remedy for the crisis

French election: Will France vote for a reformed or no EU?

Here’s how China is going green

First EU-wide protection for whistle-blowers agreed

100 years after Polish independence, 5 reasons to be cheerful for the future

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

5 world-changing ideas: our top picks for World Creativity and Innovation Day

We have solutions to crime. We just need to scale them

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

EU deal on electricity market rules to benefit both consumers and environment

Reality Shock

Iceland won’t talk with Brussels about EU accession

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

EU joint response to disasters: deal reached with Council

France is bringing back national service

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

The collision of these 3 geographies is creating a new world order

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

A comprehensive strategy for Eurozone’s long term growth gains momentum

“Austerity was not the alternative!”, President Hannes Swoboda of the European Socialists and Democrats on another Sting Exclusive

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

‘Informing is not a crime’ UN chief calls for better protection of journalists, press freedom

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

UN condemns attack on Ebola treatment centre in DR Congo which left doctor dead, two others injured

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

Prevention is key to ‘breaking the cycle of HIV transmission’, UN chief tells General Assembly

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

OECD survey reveals many people unhappy with public services and benefits

What does the future of energy look like, how do we get there, and who will benefit?

Thursday’s Daily Brief: ambulance attack in Libya, #GlobalGoals defenders, human rights in Cambodia, Swine Fever

Britain in chaos: May stays as Tory leader and PM but none can defuse the Brexit time bomb

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

OECD employment rate increases to 68.2% in the first quarter of 2018

This NATO experiment used fake Facebook accounts to trick soldiers into sharing sensitive information

Medical training without borders: what’s still missing?

Consumer product quality: Parliament takes aim at dual standards

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

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