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Donald Trump's Take on Cyberwarfare Makes Concerning Reading

With many believing Donald Trump to be winning the race to become the next President of the United States, it’s a reassuring thought to know that he has a firm grasp on the delicate issue of cybersecurity, right?

Well, that might be more a case of wishful thinking than reality, if a recent interview with the New York Times is anything to go by.

In the interview the Republican presidential nominee discussed his views on foreign policy, which touched (albeit slightly vaguely) on his plans for cyberwarfare.

With cybersecurity being such a much-discussed, hot topic, I think most US citizens (or anyone for that matter) would have liked to hear some forward-thinking, intuitive things from Trump when quizzed on the subject. Instead, he displayed a rather lukewarm (and slightly concerning) understanding of the cyber threat.

Whilst Trump was quick to point out that “Cyber is absolutely a thing of the future and the present” – something that we can all agree on – he also demonstrated a pretty blasé attitude towards it, stating that “we’re under cyber-attack, forget about them. And we don’t even know where it’s coming from.”

“Some days we do, and some days we don’t,” responded interviewer David E. Sanger.

“Because we’re obsolete,” said Trump. “Right now, Russia and China in particular and other places.”

Slightly disconcerting comments, despite Trump describing himself as a “fan of the future”, of which cyber is an integral part. You could argue these are just throwaway remarks which don’t hold much credence, but it does raise questions over how well political leaders really grasp cybersecurity, something that Carbon Black’s national security specialist Eric O’Neill discussed with Infosecurity back in April.

O’Neill raised concerns back then that none of the candidates battling it out to become the next US president had voiced any solid, noteworthy polices on cybersecurity, something he believed to be extremely important.

He suggested the candidates are shying away from the topic as it’s something they are not sufficiently clued up on, instead relying on a certain degree of vague “lip service” but failing to say how they actually plan to get to the heart of tackling cybersecurity going forward.

It appears O’Neill’s assessment was pretty much on the money on the light of Trump’s recent comments - let’s just hope, should he win the election, Trump has a solid team of cybersecurity specialists supporting him.

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