Protecting Our Digitally Connected World

by | Nov 11, 2021

The use of technology made World War I a transformational moment in modern warfare. It was the first conflict where the telephone underpinned battlefield communications. Few could have imagined that barely a century later, virtually every human on the planet would be carrying a phone in their pockets with instant access to data and each other. As we become more and more connected, however, so grows our vulnerability.

Veterans Day is rooted in the history of WWI. As we honor American veterans for their service to our nation, I encourage us to reflect on the better world for which those veterans fought. In that world, our ability to connect with each other through technology is paramount and deserves protection.

Historically, our armed service members faced off against a physical enemy. One they could see, hear, and strategize against appropriately. But the world has changed. Today the enemy resides in the cyber realm – hidden, anonymous, and hailing from every corner of the globe. As was the case in 1914, the malicious actors of today are unrelenting in their desire to exploit that which binds us together. The threat in cyber is faceless, and we are all targets.

To meet this exponentially growing threat, the federal government and our men and women in uniform are taking unprecedented actions against cybercriminals. But the long-term solution requires all citizens to play a role. We should carry the same sense of responsibility for protecting our digital world that our veterans have done for the physical one.

At the most basic level, we must all be good cyber citizens, practicing vigilance and cyber responsibility – talking to our children and parents about best practices. We have learned that a single click on a single email can cause catastrophic damage. And it can happen to anyone. What are the critical steps individuals can take on their own that collectively improves the security of those around them? Do you know what to do if something doesn’t look right? The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has helpful information for everyday security that is easy to share.

The very thing that brings us together is what makes us susceptible to nefarious forces. The vulnerabilities of our digital society can weaken national infrastructure and put data, resources, and sometimes even lives at risk. But our nation’s enemies vastly underestimate the power of the American people to answer the call to service. What has always fueled this sense of service is the fight to defend freedom and liberty. Today, we fight to live freely and safely on a digitally connected planet.

So, thank you to all those who have served in uniform. May we all be inspired to emulate their service for the common good.

About the Author

Raj Shah
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board

Raj Shah is the chairman of the board and co-founder of Resilience. Prior to co-founding Resilience in 2017, Shah was the managing partner of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Shah was senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks which acquired Morta Security, where he was CEO and co-founder. Shah began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Shah is an adjunct professor at Stanford University and continues to serve as an F-16 pilot in the Air National Guard. Shah holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an AB from The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

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