Sunday, February 17, 2013

Obama on Cyber-Security and Clean Energy (State of the Union Address)

When U.S. President Obama presented his 2013 State of the Union Address last week, many organizations, communities and governments around the world likely focused on his comments in the following areas:
  • On Cyber-Security: “we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mails. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems.” (Note that the number of attacks reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity response team increased 52% during 2012, with recent security breaches including theb, the Energy DepartmentFacebook, Twitter, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.)
  • On Clean Energy: “we must do more to combat climate change.…The fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.…We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science—and act before it's too late... to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
MY TAKE
  • Regarding Cyber-Security -  as the Federal government seeks to increase information sharing and cooperation among government agencies and companies, these efforts will likely confront personal privacy issues and a diverse set of private sector concerns.  However, because the risks are significant and many currently available offerings do not provide sufficient protection, opportunities exist for a new generation of adaptive security products and services.
  • Regarding Clean Energy -  while Obama is emphasizing a “market-based solution to climate change” which suggests a renewed focus on “cap and trade” schemes, approaches driven by sustainable business models in areas such as biofuels, fuel cells, solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, nuclear and smart grid technologies are required as well.

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