Terrorists, technology and fighting back

It is obviously disconcerting to see how terrorists can use technology in a myriad of ways, from recruitment and communication to actually launching attacks. Then again it should come as little surprise given the ways legitimate' armies leverage tech to cause serious damage.

However, despite Inspire's claims, according to Western media, the UPS and FedEx attacks were unsuccessful.

Is it therefore fair to say anti-terrorist bodies are matching the extremists?

"Especially in the United States, they seem to have the resources that others are still hoping for," Hypponen added.

"It does seem they are up to par."

But complacency is a dangerous thing and one organisations and governments would do well to avoid. Thankfully, the coaltion Government seems to be listening, particularly when it comes to cyber terrorism threats.

In October 2010, upon publishing a report entitled "A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy,", cyber crime was ranked as one of the biggest threats this nation faces, alongside terrorism, chemical attacks and natural disasters. As such, the government pledged to invest hundreds of millions of pounds to help fight the battle against the baddies.

"[We are] more vulnerable because we are one of the most open societies in a world that is more networked than ever before," Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, said in a joint statement released with the report.

"Geographically Britain is an island but economically and politically it is a vital link in the global network. That openness brings great opportunities but also vulnerabilities."

In addition to the 500 million funding, the coalition suggested that industry and government should unite to tackle such threats.

"Businesses and Government will need to work much more closely together to strengthen our defence against cyber attacks and to prepare for the worst, so that if it happens, we are able to recover rapidly and keep Britain moving," the leaders' statement continued.

Regardless of what side is using it, technology evidently can empower those seeking to bring harm to others. That said, technology can also save lives as well as threaten them.

Tech can be a beautiful thing, but at the same time cause cataclysmic damage on an almost unimaginable scale.

As IT-savvy users, aware of the power tech has to help us do our jobs, we should be alert for anything that looks out of place. Similarly, organisations should ensure they have the right back-ups and protections in place, should the unthinkable happen.

Click here to read our Business of IT feature guiding you through what you from need to do to create an effective business continuity plan.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.