SRA’s Stan Sloane: US needs cyber coordinator now

CYBERSECURITY | The other day, industry experts weighed in here about the consequences of the White House delaying announcement of the cyber security coordinator. Some, like Amit Yoran, have argued that it’s best the White House take its time. (“Speed of search is a factor, but much less so in the long run …” said Yoran to ExecutiveBiz). Not exactly, sloanestancounters Stan Sloane, CEO and president of SRA. In a candid piece published the other day in BusinessWeek, Sloane — whom we called one of the 20 people to watch this year — drove home the point that every day we wait for a cyber coordinator is another day we lose out in intellectual property.

Fall-out: More than economic

In his BusinessWeek piece, Sloane outlined the consequences of intellectual property theft. His key takeaways:

  • Economic fall-out. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that intellectual-property theft costs American corporations $250 billion every year, writes Sloane. “What’s more, 750,000 American jobs are lost annually due to counterfeiting, according to U.S. Customs & Border Protection,” he adds.
  • Public health/safety fall-out. “Public health and safety are also affected, for instance, by cheap counterfeits sold by intellectual-property thieves,” writes Sloane. “The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 drugs on the worldwide market is counterfeit. Some contain toxic substances and chemicals that can kill.”

Cyber coordinator: Four key tasks

Sloane outlined four key tasks for a cyber coordinator, whom he envisions as “a competent diplomat, a White House insider, a big-picture planner, and a credible voice to industry”:

  • Combat intellectual-property crime with collaboration between government and industry.
  • Protect U.S. information infrastructure
  • Take a leadership role in fostering cyber innovation
  • Act as cyber policymaker on the national and international front in addressing diplomacy and laws

Do you agree with Sloane? Is now the time to appoint a cyber coordinator? Share your comments here.

And for past interviews with the SRA team on strengthening your company’s cybersecurity, click here.

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