National Laws Inhibit Cybersecurity

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Geography, irrelevant to cybermarauders, prevents legal action against them.

The biggest impediment to effective cybersecurity may be the national laws that underpin freedom in the most technologically advanced democracies. These laws not only provide cybermarauders with hiding places, they also prevent global law enforcement from pursuing them as they prey on unknowing victims around the world.

A Wednesday panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, took up the issue of cyberspace security from a global perspective. Jim Jaeger, chief cyber services strategist, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, observed that geography and international borders are irrelevant to attackers in the cyber domain. National laws in many cases actually are counterproductive today in the fight against cyber criminals.

Jaeger continued that many countries—such as Singapore, Germany and other European Union nations—have very tight privacy laws. Many of these laws are tying the hands of security and law enforcement. “We couldn’t pull [suspect] files out of one country,” he related. “They had to be left in the country. So, we had to fly people into this country to look at files we knew were exfiltrated from another country.”

One solution is to build teams of forensics firms in different countries that will be ready to respond immediately to a security breach. “You can't wait until a breach occurs,” he pointed out.


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