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Combating Cyberthreats and Stormwater Surges: These Fields Have More in Common Than You Think

1600px-Texas_Army_National_Guard_Hurricane_Harvey_Response

Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

By Dan Allen, Research Fellow

In the cyberworld, computer servers, routers, firewalls, and other similar technologies, sit at the outermost edge, or perimeter, of a protected computer network. These cyber devices form a boundary between vulnerable internal resources and outside networks (such as the internet), and hackers often focus on breaching these “edge” devices. For example, successful cyberattacks at the web application layer perimeter can bypass perimeter security provided by a network firewall, server, and routers. Similarly, threats resulting from climate change, which are also multifaceted and multidirectional in nature, can bypass traditional, one-dimensional, perimeter-focused risk prevention methods such as the infamously inadequate system of storm categorization that measure a storm’s strength in terms of wind velocity, but says little about how a storm will interact with the tides to create a destructive storm surge.

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