Nobody is spared in cyberwarfare, as even First Lady Michelle Obama found out when her Social Security number and credit report were allegedly hacked - along with those of Vice President Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and entertainers Beyonce and Kim Kardashian.
The commitment to improving our country's cybersecurity requires time, collaboration and financial resources that may not deliver visible and immediate rewards but nonetheless deserves our full attention and significant investment. The work we can do together and the investments we make today will keep us safe in the future.
Businesses large and small can protect themselves today through sophisticated tools to upgrade the protection of our data and infrastructure and stay at least one step ahead of those who mean us harm.
Nevertheless, the most powerful weapons to protect against costly and frightening cyber-intrusions may be as simple as heightened awareness and common sense.
We all should be consistently reminded to be alert when using any device connected to the Internet, ever mindful of the strength and safety of passwords, the authenticity of external devices and links, and the security (or lack thereof) of the websites they visit.
If you are online, you should assume that intruders are trying to crack your defenses.
The Department of Homeland Security advises setting strong passwords, changing them regularly and never sharing them, using privacy settings, and limiting the amount of personal information one posts online.
And be cautious about online offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
As each day passes, we become more dependent on information technology to conduct our daily lives. This means that businesses, individuals and the government must each do their part to prevent cybercrimes and attacks.
We are all soldiers in a global war in which the enemy is without a name, a face or a noble cause. We cannot allow them to win this war.
Wilderotter is chairman and chief executive officer of Frontier Communications. She is chairman of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.