Cyber Wars: What Is Government's Role?

Who owns cybersecurity?

Cyber attacks negatively impact governments, corporations, and individuals on a daily basis. One of the many reasons for our ongoing vulnerability is that we lack a cohesive approach for defending US interests against cyber threats. It has become painfully clear that neither the government nor the private sector can solve the problem on its own. There must be a joint effort in protecting our country’s national interest in terms of cyber security.

At PKWARE’s Cyber Wars roundtable in Washington, D.C., experts discussed ways the public and private sector can work together to combat threats from nation states and other attackers. The conversation included a wide range of topics relating to policy and regulation, none of which seem to have easy answers:

  • Does the US need its own version of the GDPR?
  • In the world of IoT, who is responsible for consumer safety?
  • Is it a company’s responsibility to build in stronger security, or should the government mandate businesses to provide more secure technology?
  • When should the government share information on cyber threats, and when is it acceptable for threats to remain classified?
  • What would happen if the government mandated encryption backdoors in messaging apps or other technologies?

These discussions highlight the need for congressional leaders and staff, along with industry experts, to work together to identify our most serious cybersecurity challenges and the solutions that can address them. In the past, disagreements about policies, procedures, and impractical political posturing have derailed many useful ideas. The two groups need to come together to create specific actions that will make our country and our world more secure.

PKWARE will continue to engage in these conversations and help define the critical steps that can be taken to protect our country and businesses from catastrophic attacks.