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The Disturbing Inevitability of Cyberattacks

The Disturbing Inevitability of Cyberattacks

By Brian E. Finch, The Wall Street Journal

A small but growing number of cybersecurity experts warn that we are a few keystrokes away from a dystopian world with no lights, running water or modern communications. Some even argue that it will take such a disastrous attack to jolt us into finally building more effective virtual defenses. While the possibility of large-scale cyberattacks gets the lion’s share of attention, chaos by small doses is more probable.

Government and private businesses have invested billions of dollars in cybersecurity measures to protect critical infrastructure, dramatically decreasing the likelihood that hackers could bring about another Stone Age. While rogue squirrels nesting in utility components are responsible for thousands of blackouts, cyberattacks have caused few. Recent incidents reveal a far likelier scenario: paralyzed operations for countless businesses. And even concerns about cyberattacks against business operations have historically taken a back seat to worries about personal data hacks, which can affect millions of individual consumers.

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