Nashville Bombing Shows Weakness in Wireless, Voice, Data Infrastructure: Jeff Kagan

Jeff Kagan  |

Image: Nashville, Tennessee. Source: Garrett Hill / Pixabay

The recent bombing in Nashville should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is an example of how devastatingly vulnerable we are as a digital society and economy. Over the last several decades I have warned the rapid transition to a digital future is good, but that it leaves us vulnerable. We need to move forward, but we also need to protect ourselves.

We believe that we are the most advanced country in the world. That may be. But that also means we are the most vulnerable.

AT&T should be congratulated for its Nashville bombing response

The Nashville bombing impacted one of AT&T’s central locations which controls wireless, wire line, data, pay TV and more for citizens of multiple states. Repair took hours to get many up and running. Now that service is restored, it will take longer to replace all the damaged equipment.

AT&T should be congratulated and recognized for such a rapid recovery and response. The damage will take a while to repair, but the backup systems and strategies worked well.

Nashville bombing wake-up call to protect from cyberattack

The next question is disturbing. What if this disaster happened on a national scale and not just in Nashville? What if it happened to every wireless network? In fact, let’s pull the camera back. What if it happened to every company, every person, everything?

Will there be enough backup systems to go around if this is a regional, national or global outage?

That’s why Nashville should be an important wake-up call to every one of us. This shows the vulnerability we all face with all the businesses on which we rely.

This is a national problem, even a global problem, and we must find solutions and protections. This was just a warning shot. Something we should pay attention to for our own good.

Most important question after Nashville bombing

So, what will happen next? How do we prepare? How do we protect ourselves?

Either we will heed this wake-up call, work to protect ourselves, our society and our civilization, or we will brush it under the rug and keep moving ahead at breakneck speed, leaving us as vulnerable as ever.

We have been moving into this digital future for decades. When we changed from analog to digital in the 1990s, everything started to change.

For example, in retail stores, cash registers were replaced with computer terminals tied to a network, so everything was recorded. Before that, stores had to report their sales for the day so their inventory could be replaced and their sales could be tracked.

The move to digital in the 1990s started building a mountain of data that no one could really sort through and use.

AI, IoT, Internet — sorting through mountains of digital data

Next, AI or artificial intelligence started sorting through this data mountain and making sense of it all.

Then, one by one, company after company in industry after industry got on board. Today, we use AI, IoT, Internet and so much more as part of our daily routine.

Today, our lives run on data. Our entire society does. That’s the good part.

The bad part is this.

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What happens when we have an outage, either natural or man-made? Power outages happen all the time. What about terrorism? The damage that can cause a society could be both instantaneous and devastating on a long-term scale.

Protect against cyberwar and digital attacks

Even worse, what about war? Not the traditional war with bullets and tanks. What I am talking about is a cyberwar. When another country tries to knock us out on a massive scale.

Today, the USA believes we are the most advanced country in the world. While that’s true in many ways, it also means we are the most vulnerable to an attack.

In a cyberwar between an advanced country and one that is not, the advanced country is most at risk. The less advanced country can weather the storm better.

We are more vulnerable today than decades ago

That means we live in a glass house. Sure, we look big and strong, but a weak country can throw a rock through our advanced glass window leaving us in a terrible position.

If we look at things through this perspective, we were stronger decades ago before this advanced data transformation we have been experiencing.

Living in a data-driven digital world is efficient and amazing. In wartime, however, we must have a bulletproof system. The digital world is not.

Think about it. Taking the power out can isolate you, your city, your state, even your entire country. What if the water supply is contaminated? What if everything was simply turned off with no easy way to switch back on?

That means you could not get your money out of a bank, or call your family or do anything you do on a daily basis. No Internet, no phone, no email, no wireless, no TV, no radio, no connectivity, no computing, nothing.

Nashville bombing exposed new threat

That’s the new threat we face today. The weakest link in our chain. And that is what was exposed with the Nashville bombing.

That’s what we need to fix and strengthen.

That threat can come from nature with hurricanes or floods, or from terrorism or from cyberwar with other countries, groups or even individuals.

Today, we live on data in a digital world. That means we are stronger than ever, but more vulnerable than ever.

Nashville bombing showed we need bulletproof vest

We need to protect ourselves and our institutions. We need to create a bulletproof digital vest to make sure we are never shut down. This is what every country around the world needs to do.

Nashville showed us how vulnerable we really are as a nation. In fact, it should be a lesson to every state in our country and every country around the world.

You can be the strongest in a digital world, but that strength can be exploited as a weakness as well.

The bombing exposed significant weaknesses and vulnerabilities and we must protect our society and our civilization.

The next threat is coming. It always is. That’s one thing we can count on.

So, we need to protect ourselves. That’s why I have one very serious question to ask… what are we going to do about it?

 

Jeff Kagan is an Equities News columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Technology Analyst who follows Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive, Self-Driving cars and more. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-kagan/

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Equities News Columnist: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer. The author of this article, or a firm that employs the author, is a holder of the following securities mentioned in this article : None

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