The current conflict between the United States and Iran has created obvious reasons for concern. The news outlets and social media have been interchangeably using phrases such as “escalating,’ “de-escalating,” “conflict,” “war,” etc. However, there is a common term used in most reports- “Cyberwar.” While I am not a fan of this term, it is applicable here. Whether or not the media outlets understand what “Cyberwar” means, it provides legitimacy to the importance of the internet, networks, and computers to countries, businesses, and critical infrastructure. Let’s be honest – a disruption to these technologies and infrastructures impacts all of us. This concern has grown to the level that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued Alert AA20-006A.
All information security programs should perform some level of threat modeling to understand and defend against their most pressing threats. If you store, process, transmit credit cards, your concerns should focus on attackers from Eastern Europe (Russia), as this is where the majority of card-related financial fraud is reported to be sourced from. If your organization is a cleared contractor, designs technology, or is part of the supply chain for advanced technologies, your concern would be the Nation States such as China that look to obtain intellectual property for a competitive advantage against the United States. However, Iran does not fall into either of these categories.