The Future of Homeland Security

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This paper discusses the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing fight on terrorist threats from its start after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th to the new development of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for its on-going effort to fight cyber terrorism and cyber attacks on the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic.

America has changed since the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. No more is the Department of Homeland Security’s primary focus on acts of terrorism from radical extremist but there are now focused on a new and rising of terrorism has emerged to the domestic battleground of the United States, but it is not visible to the untrained eye. The new threat on American sovereignty is named cyber terrorism and it is now a primary focus of the Department of Homeland Security and it is so for good reason. 

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It was reported in Information Management Journal (2009) that In April 2009 Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton revealed that the Department of Defense (DOD) had spent more than $100 million in the last six months fighting off daily cyber-attacks against DOD computer systems (ARMA, 2009) . But what exactly is cyber terrorism? Cyber terrorism is best defined as a politically charged motive with the use of computers and/or technology to cause a disruption or a widespread panic of society (Dictionary, n.d.).

An example of a cyber terrorist attack on the United States was in 2016 a citizen of Kosovo named Ardit Ferizi was the first official person that was charged and convicted of cyber terrorism by the United States. Ardit Ferizi aided the terrorist organization ISIS the with information on over 1300 military servicemembers and DOD employees by hacking into and exploiting a federal server. Ardit Ferizi was sentenced to a 20-year life sentence for his cyber terrorist attack (Office, 2016). What Ardit Ferizi showed the United States and the world is that cyber terrorist attacks can be committed from the safety of another country and that Homeland Security needs to have an organization devised to actively fight these cyber terrorists.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or better known as CISA was created under our Current United States President Donald Trump on November 16th, 2018 with the sole mission on taking the fight to cyber terrorism. CISA missions to name a few are to protect United States federal networks and supporting its infrastructures, to educating and training state and local agencies on the importance of operational security/ OPSEC.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell what the future holds for us as a country when it comes to protection and safety. The United States has many targets on its back not just from radical extremist but from up and coming countries that sees the United States as competition. However, I do believe that the Department of Homeland Security is taking the right precautions by building an organization devoted to combating cyber terrorism and the development of a much more secure cyber network to stop future potential attacks that we may one day face.

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