Network outages, data compromised by hackers, computer viruses and other incidents affect our lives in ways that range from inconvenient to life-threatening. As the number of mobile users, digital applications and data networks increase, so do the opportunities for exploitation.
Cyber security, also referred to as information technology security, focuses on protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction.
Governments, military, corporations, financial institutions, hospitals and other businesses collect, process and store a great deal of confidential information on computers and transmit that data across networks to other computers. With the growing volume and sophistication of cyber attacks, ongoing attention is required to protect sensitive business and personal information, as well as safeguard national security.
During a Senate hearing in March 2013, the nation's top intelligence officials warned that cyber attacks and digital spying are the top threat to national security, eclipsing terrorism.