Lessons Cyberdefense May Be Able To Teach Us About Managing Ebola

David Gewirtz | ZDNet | October 20, 2014

David Gewirtz presents lessons taken from the world of cybersecurity and cyberwarfare that may be food for thought for those attempting to prevent the Ebola outbreak from spreading in the United States.

We in the computer world are all too familiar with what we've long called "viruses," the malware that infects our machines and networks. Thirty years ago, Fred Cohen, then a student at USC, noticed how self-replicating computer programs resembled the behavior of biological viruses, and the name "virus" was forever linked with computer malware.

Ebola, on the other hand, is the real deal. Ebola virus disease, as it's officially designated, spreads from animals to humans and then from humans to humans. It's brutal. The World Health Organization says the average fatality rate is 1 out of every 2 who have been exposed to the virus. Some outbreaks have killed as many of 90 percent of those infected.

According to the WHO, "The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined." And now it's reached the United States...