President cracks down on cyber theft with potential sanctions

Glenn W. Peterson

You don’t have to be a follower of the news to know that the number of cyber attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies has increased over the last few years. Quite frankly, it’s an issue many people across the nation have started concerning themselves with, particularly because of the serious negative consequences that generally follow such attacks.

Because technology and Internet access is so integral to most business operations and transactions, there is an increasing need for protection from hackers looking to steal trade secrets and other intellectual property. But while firewalls and other software are the first thing most people think of when providing protection to a business’ digital property, there are other ways of providing protection.

President Barack Obama is illustrating this fact right now by threatening to place economic sanctions against China for its part in a number of cyber attacks on U.S. companies in recent years. According to a recent Washington Post article, Chinese hackers have been linked to the theft of seemingly innocuous things such as search engine source codes to more serious things like nuclear power plant designs. These thefts, as you probably realize, help the Chinese economy while hurting our own, which is something the Obama Administration is trying to stop.

This is not the first time the Administration has had to take legal actions against China for alleged hacks. As some here in California may remember back in May of last year, indictments were successfully secured against five Chinese military members on economic spying charges. The threat of sanctions though escalates matters, forcing China to reconsider its role in cyber attacks on the U.S. or risk long-standing trade relations with our country.