Preparing for the Future: An Assessment of Emerging Cyber Threats

Congressional Testimony
Oct. 22, 2019

Cybersecurity Initiative Senior Fellow Niloofar Razi Howe testified before the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee on October 22, 2019.

"We must rethink our approach to cybersecurity and cyber defense.
We are at an inflection point as enormous technological and societal shifts are converging to reshape the national security landscape and the underpinnings of our democracy. The world is changing dramatically with the speed, scope and scale of nothing we have ever experienced. New, highly advanced technology is being adopted at a blinding pace as we digitize business, economic, defense and social infrastructures. We are embracing cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, small low orbit satellites with advanced sensor platforms, the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, distributed ledger technology, augmented and virtual reality. On the horizon we see the emergence of 5G and microsensor proliferation, autonomous weapons (for both military and private use), quantum computing, artificial intelligence and synthetic biology, to name a few. It’san exciting time, but there are consequences. Over time almost everything that we have experienced in the physical world - prosperity, democracy, corruption and warfare - will happen digitally but with a speed and severity that we are just starting to comprehend. This isn’t about technology alone or something that takes place in a dark corner of the Internet somewhere. It’s happening every moment in our offices, our cars, our family rooms and in our children’s pockets.Every device is a supercomputer, every application an attack vector, and with the Internet, “every sociopath is now your next door neighbor.” This is a defining moment for our society as we face emboldened groups of adversaries with complex motivations creating new social, political and economic challenges that we are out of position to deal with and almost out of time."

Read Howe's full statement here.