(Cyberwar.news) In recent days the political world was rocked by the realization that Russia most likely hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s email servers, as well as those belonging to the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
While Clinton, the DNC and the FBI try to get to the bottom of all of this, some have begun questioning whether the Democratic nominee or her Republican rival, Donald J. Trump, will be better for the nation’s cyber security. It’s a valid question, so we thought we’d take a look at it.
There hasn’t been much news about Trump’s reliance on information system technology to manage his business empire, but you’d have to assume that it extends well beyond his use of social media to spread his campaign message. And since IT security has become a priority for businesses, the same as it has for government, one might also assume that the Trump empire spends a hefty sum on cybersecurity.
As for Clinton, her record on cybersecurity is dismal, at best. To wit: Her decision to use private, under-secured email servers to conduct official business – for the State Department, for the Clinton Foundation and for other purposes – should be concerning to all Americans, but especially cyber security professionals who understand the importance of protecting state security and business secrets.
She can deny it all she likes, but the fact of the matter is, FBI Director James Comey said his investigators were fairly certain that if her servers were not breached (a stretch), the systems of associates who communicated with her likely were. In addition, Comey was clear – both in his press conference in early July, when he discussed what his agents found in their investigation of her emails, and in subsequent testimony to Congress – that Clinton did send and receive classified materials, contrary to her claims otherwise.
In short, Clinton’s historic penchant for secrecy is obviously more important to her than the national security of the United States and the integrity of some of its most sensitive intelligence. That’s not very presidential, and it certainly does not hype her qualifications to be commander-in-chief. That such a ranking official in government could so cavalierly endanger intelligence information and assets is shocking and, frankly, unacceptable.
Will Trump do a better job of protecting sensitive data while bolstering cooperation between the government and private industry in developing better cyberdefenses? That remains to be seen.
But we do know that Trump’s enterprises are as dependent on cyber security as anyone else’s, and certainly that is as important to him as a private citizen as it would be if he were president.
And we do know that Clinton’s record of security is atrocious. Worse, she can’t even admit that she did anything wrong.
Who you vote for in November is up to you, but if you’re a cybersecurity voter more than you’re a political partisan, the choice seems rather clear.
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