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New report: The internet is too interconnected to fail

A man surfs the internet in Beijing on June 15, 2009.
A man surfs the internet in Beijing on June 15, 2009.

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A new report is calling for a more systematic and comprehensive monitoring of internet security and finds the current approach used by world governments and companies too piecemeal and ineffective.

The report released this week by the Atlantic Council and Zurich Insurance Group, says the internet has become an entity too interconnected. A single vulnerability has the potential to bring the entire system down to its knees.

"There are a number of reasons to believe the internet of tomorrow will almost certainly be  less resilient, available, and robust than today. It will also be more likely to initiate and cascade global shocks," Jason Healey, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, writes in the report.

Healey says our current “one risk at a time” approach to safeguarding the web has proven to be outdated and ineffectual, given how much the internet has evolved. The report argues that we must switch from a reactive to a preventive mindset so that issues could be detected and fixed before they become too destructive to contain.

A rethinking of how to better bolster web security has taken on increasing urgency in the wake of the recent discovery of the heartbleed bug, which has threatened to expose sensitive information of users because of a faulty encryption tool used by hundreds of thousands of web sites.


Jason Healey, Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council and co-author of the report