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John McAfee: Volunteers are the key to a secure digital world

Cyberwarfare is an inevitable reality. Over the years, governments around the world have been preparing for cyberwar, and our country is no different. Offensive cybertactics should be one of our highest priorities, along with security.

These threats are significant and they have extensive reach into nearly every element of our lives. They affect not only our digital lives but reach also into realms such as services, communications, and health. I have repeatedly talked about this specter of threats throughout my campaign.

As a country, we need new ways of improving cybersecurity. Awareness is step one, but we have a lot of catching up to do in investment, posture, and education. And we must stand up for our sovereign rights as individuals. Our government must operate under the virtues that protect and are held dear by its citizens.

The security goalposts are always shifting as the game is getting longer and harder. Threats are evolving quickly. The only way to make up ground in this race is to make big moves, right now. It is only a matter of time before the country is forced to defend itself against widespread attacks against banks, nuclear power, the Internet, and other critical systems.

Related: Hackers hit Las Vegas: Black Hat and DefCon 21

For the last couple of years, I have attended the yearly Def Con convention in Las Vegas. Tens of thousands of the brightest minds in the country show up there to share, learn, and advance information security. I have spoken to many practitioners here and throughout the country at a number of other events. Many of these incredibly skilled people belong to non-profit organizations, which provide cybersecurity for many companies that need it.

This presents a massive opportunity that is right before our eyes. It’s time we utilized it.

Our government must operate under the virtues that protect and are held dear by its citizens.

These groups serve many purposes including putting out collective intelligence on cyberattacks. They also come together to help stop things like spam and the spread of malware, and they plain old make things better. This information is actively integrated by commercial security companies and even government agencies to step up their efforts.

Whatever their mission, whatever technology gains the most help, these organizations are doing important work — on the front lines. Helping educate business and consumers is exactly where we need to put more focus, now more than ever before.

As your president, I have laid out a mission to institute a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. I will reach out to these volunteer security groups to help make that plan a reality in ways that are effective and will protect our future.

Find out more about my campaign and how you can help make a difference at www.mcafee16.com

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.