The debate of course hinges specifically around national defence. We don’t want the Trident missile system being hacked. Warfare doesn’t just extend to weapons though.
France is currently grinding to a halt due to their seasonal batch of strikes – oo lalaa, whose turn is it this time lads?!
This is a good simulation of the chaos that might reign if a national transportation system is disabled because the computers that control deliveries to petrol stations are brought down or, as happened recently in Iran, your power station switches itself off. As a society we are completely enslaved to technology.
So cyberdefence is important but for businesses the importance extends into peacetime because the same technologies and techniques used by unfriendly parties to wage war can also be used to steal from you.
If I look at the number of attempts to hack into our own network it would run into many, many thousands a year. Any device with a public facing IP address is considered fair game. You have to have your protection in place.
Nobody is safe, although the larger the business the more likely they are to employ staff specifically to look after network security. Companies too small to affect the course of a cyberwar can be attacked. If the computer that prints your bill run at the end of the month is not working then how are you going to pay the staff? What if your customers get the same emailed bill 50 times? They aren’t going to be happy & you are going to spend all your time sorting out the mess instead of finding new business.
You wouldn’t leave the office at might without locking the door behind you. The message is clear. Secure your network.