The Private Sector’s Role in Cyber SecurityPrintable Version
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Cyber security is emerging as one of the most challenging national security issues the United States faces. Highlighting this emerging threat, the Center for National Policy convened a panel of experts moderated by Mercator XXI's Chris Caine, featuring Doug Raymond, head of monetization at Google Asia-Pacific, and Rob Knake, a Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The panel focused on the question of the role of private industry in protecting America's cyber infrastructure.
The panelists generally agreed that a broad public/private partnership is necessary to protect cyber domain and that the threats to America's cyber infrastructure are serious. However, when it came to the specifics of strategy there were differing opinions. Raymond argued that because technological threats evolve so quickly and private companies have the most to lose when security breaches happen, they are in the best position to mitigate threats from their vantage points on the front lines. Raymond posited that the role of private industry is to innovate and mitigate threats, building security into applications and systems, and educating and raising awareness. Knake disagreed and suggested that some degree of regulation is necessary and instead of fighting these efforts private corporations should step up and try to shape the process. One of Knake's many interesting suggestions was that the government should consider allowing private corporations to "take the gloves off" when hacked by allowing them to hack back. He cited letters of marque as a historical equivalent.
Whether private industry takes the lead in protecting cyberspace or the government, both speakers agreed that cyber threats are a growing problem that must be addressed more seriously.