On October 11, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the US is facing a danger which “could be as destructive as the terrorist attack on 9/11” and advocated measures to beef up our cyber security capabilities.

Panetta conceded that most people think cyber security is more about preventing hackers from stealing identities and credit card numbers than nation-states planning offensive attacks.

But major private sector players in critical industries, such as banking and finance, are vulnerable to organized attacks from enemy nations.  Steve Haase, INSUREtrust President and the inventor of the nation’s first cyber liability insurance policy, explains the danger to corporations:

“All of our major financial institutions have suffered security breaches and they have some of the largest IT budgets and state of the art protection.  If they can be breached then so can our infrastructure.”

Haase also elaborates on how the Great Recession has impacted the cyber security of government entities:

“With tight budgets, I suspect the various government agencies’ protection is not what it should be.  Combine that with the fact that there is a minimal cost of waging cyber war versus conventional war.  These factors lead me to believe, with a high degree of certainty, that a cyber attack as Panetta described it is a very real threat.