While network effects provide great benefits, they can also lead to great risks. The Internet is increasingly becoming the unique host for essential services, as government, finance, energy management, supply chains, telephony and much more abandon traditional channels and migrate to the Web. Now, the rapid adoption of the cloud computing model points towards a future of rapidly growing concentrations of crucial data and software in a limited number of massive data centers that are inadequately protected against cyber attack, and not at all against a determined physical assault. In this article, I outline the growing risks, suggest the types of physical and virtual security standards frameworks that should be developed and implemented to minimize vulnerability to catastrophic attacks, and evaluate whether new cyber security legislation proposed by the Obama administration is sufficient to meet the need.
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