Cyberterrorism and Private Corporations: New Threat Models and Risk Management Implications
The very late twentieth century has seen an astonishing development in the technical
specifications of computers and associated technology. In addition, this developing
technology has led to the increasing importance of the Internet in relation to many facets of
the organisation of society, especially in the developed, democratic countries.
In these countries, the level of computing power in society, and the technological
sophistication of its consumers and corporate entities, enables and requires that a great (and
growing) number of transactions and informational activities be carried out or enabled
electronically. In many cases, electronic means of information transfer are being used to the
exclusion of traditional, hard forms of enablement. Perhaps as a result of this, there is a
growing appreciation of the effect that holding information can have upon a given entity’s
ability to respond – to opportunities and to threats.
Due to the very nature of the Internet and associated means of information storage and
transfer, there has been a marked convergence of the public and private sectors in the one
network, to the extent that in some cases there is no relevant distinction between matters that
would traditionally have been regarded as public and those which would traditionally have
been regarded as private.
This gradual convergence has also led to the convergence of identity issues – in that there is an
increasingly blurred demarcation between private corporations, individuals and governments.
A logical result of this social movement has been the gradual decline of the importance and
relevance of the nation-state, in any of its traditional forms.