Our most vulnerable borders may be electronic, not physical

It’s interesting to see how words like “ban” and “wall” have become intertwined with our basic understanding of national security. Yet, while these terms rile passions everywhere, there is a different set of borders that is potentially more vulnerable and maybe even more dangerous.

The behavior toward these barriers is reckless, even lawless, all while there’s ubiquitous access and uneven safety, and it doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

These are the “borders and roadways” seemingly and virtually built around information — the lifeblood of modern society, with all the benefits and flaws. For years, we’ve seen attacks on everything from retailers and banks to political parties and government agencies, and each takes its toll.

The sheer volume has a curious effect on our consciousness. On one hand, as the assaults pile up, we’ve become largely immune to the bad news. On the other, the hacks and the motives behind them have gotten more sophisticated, more complicated and more damaging.

Ours is a society that has become somewhat desensitized to large-scale breeches. Recall the massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attackthat took down much of the internet across the eastern seaboard last October. You don’t have to know what DDoS is to understand that hack affected everything from the New York Times to Reddit, imposed significant costs on our economy, and consumed large-scale resources in the process.

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