U.S. Defense Department networks will need to operate with the minimum security available as connectivity and the threat picture evolve, said a top defense official. Terry Halvorsen, acting Defense Department chief information officer, minced no words as he described how tight budgets are limiting options across the board.
Estonia has established a dedicated cyberdefense infrastructure and implemented new policies that are serving as models for other allied nations gearing up for potential cyber attacks. The Estonian measures come in the wake of the Baltic nation undergoing a severe cyber attack in 2007.
Encountering many variables as it strives to achieve effective cybersecurity, NATO is focusing on two long-standing constants to move forward: training and partnerships with industry. The Atlantic alliance is seeking industry help in pursuing solutions, and it is adopting many traditional methods and institutions to train personnel in vital cyberskills.
Defenders of cyberspace need to concentrate on the critical services provided by the critical infrastructure, not the infrastructure itself, according to a leading cyber expert. Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies and former acting senior director for cyberspace with the National Security Council, said that the future of the West is held hostage to the fact that its security and resilience are threatened.
Even with the rising tide of nation-sponsored cyber attacks, NATO does not yet have a policy—let alone a definition—of what constitutes a cyber attack that would mandate a response under Article 5 of the alliance’s Washington Treaty, according to NATO officials. Article 5 defines an attack on a NATO member as “an attack on all,” requiring a response by all members against an aggressor.
With cyber losses running in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the private sector must establish its own standards for cybersecurity or face government regulations that would be painful for some firms. Either way, regulatory guidance is necessary for the private sector to avoid potentially fatal hemorrhaging of assets and information to cybermarauders.
A new management trend may impel corporations to implement better cybersecurity: lead or get out of the way. Either corporate leaders take the initiative for improving their companies' cybersecurity, or shareholders will demand their ouster following a damaging attack that puts corporate futures in doubt.
Businesses that neglect their cybersecurity needs risk being put out of business by even the simplest of attacks, according to cybersecurity experts. While all companies face the threat of a devastating financial cyber robbery, even a simple attack that steals information could be the end for a small- or medium-size business.
Many U.S. companies are losing business because of cyber issues expressed by foreign firms. These concerns can range from fears of U.S. vulnerabilities to worries that intelligence agencies will have access to information held by U.S. contractors.
"Cyber is the ultimate team sport." The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) faces a unique set of challenges as it tries to engage industry and academia in the cybersecurity effort, according to its commander.