The Cyber Secure Institute has published a whitepaper by former Congressman C. Thomas McMillen on the political and corporate challenges of creating better national cybersecurity. The paper, titled “Cybersecurity: The Challenge of Political and Corporate Will,” examines why US networks are still vulnerable.
Congressman McMillen is a former three term Congressman representing Maryland. He presently serves as Chairman and CEO of the Homeland Security Capital Corporation.
“Congressman McMillen has always been a leader on cybersecurity. Twenty-one years ago he introduced one of the first pieces of cybersecurity legislation, H.R. 287, which would have established criminal and civil penalties for maliciously altering computer hardware, software and/or data,” said Rob Housman, Executive Director of the Cyber Secure Institute. “His latest thinking is no less groundbreaking.”
The paper draws a number of conclusions including the following:
1) The majority of the corporate sector has resisted cybersecurity changes while paying lip service to the need for better cybersecurity
2) Past federal efforts have not done enough
3) Security efforts in the private sector are largely inadequate
4) While the public should be upset with the current state of affairs it is not because they lack information, accept more cyber risk than necessary and marketing claims have led to a false sense of security
5) There is little drive to increase cybersecurity
6) The government will need to drive any change
7) We need to change the way we approach cybersecurity
8) There are methods we can use to help drive cybersecurity awareness and change which include using the government power for procurement of the best in cybersecurity and require full disclosure of cyber incidents by the private sector
In the paper, McMillan writes “We need the digital security equivalent of the environmental awareness that has refocused our governmental policies, drove laws and rules and changed the approach of the government and the private sector.”
“Congressman McMillen’s paper shoots down widely accepted truisms surrounding cybersecurity,” said Housman. “Congressman McMillen lays out why almost thirty years into the task of cybersecurity, our nation’s critical IT systems remain unacceptably vulnerable.”
“McMillen understands the political dynamic and the challenge of political will first hand. Similarly, as the Chairman and CEO of a publicly traded company in the homeland security space he understands the corporate and market challenges that confront real cybersecurity,” he said.
This paper is the second in a series called ‘the Provoking Cybersecurity Change Series.’
The whitepaper can be accessed in here