The private and financial sectors are pressing for better governmental answers to the costly cybersecurity challenges still plaguing the nation. They want the White House to create, as a minimum first step, an interagency or oversight group to facilitate information sharing. This small step is seen as a critical link between industry and government to organizing the fragmented cybersecurity efforts needed to quash mounting attacks.
While federal efforts abound, they are coordinated haphazardly, with gaps and no overarching governance—in spite of a preponderance of existing documents, plans, regulations and actions, according to experts.
A year has passed since the breach of Target Corporation’s information security in which hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and yet no national coordinated clearinghouse exists for the formal sharing of information and lessons learned that might mitigate future attacks. A spate of high-profile data breaches has hit big retailers and financial institutions, but cybersecurity in the United States remains a lax patchwork of ill-defined rules and dubious regulations.
But this is not for a lack of trying, some experts say. For years, officials as high as the president of the United States designated cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges—even though, of the 21 top issues listed on the whitehouse.gov home page in October, cybersecurity ironically is not among them.