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Cybersecurity: Next Steps for the New Administration


Multi-sector industry-government engagement is vital if the nation is to stay ahead of the prolific growth and creativity of global cyber threats, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said at a recent USTelecom National Cybersecurity Policy Forum. Pritzker talked up a report that was months in the works commissioned by the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Principles in the report “transcend partisan divide” and embrace priorities that Commerce championed in advancing greater cybersecurity protections, Pritzker said.

The report calls for new structures to enable industry collaboration with government; an aggressive national cyber workforce initiative to increase the pool of qualified workers for a growing number of jobs; and security protections to be built into emergency technologies and products. Removing structural impediments to government-industry collaboration must be encouraged, she said, calling for “reverse Miranda” protections to provide assurances that cyber threat information shared with regulators won’t later be the basis for punishment.

Ari Schwartz, managing director of Cybersecurity Services at Venable LLP in Washington, said the report serves as a “menu for the next administration,” according to an article by Bloomberg BNA. Clete Johnson, Commerce Department’s Senior Policy Advisor on Cybersecurity and a panelist at the USTelecom event, said “we need to urgently move ahead…we are in a very severe threat environment.” The report provides a blueprint for how to do that, he said.

The commission’s focus was on identifying strategies for creating a collaborative environment to encourage industry and government to work together, said Kiersten Todt, executive director of the Cybersecurity Commission, and a participant on one of the USTelecom panels. “We want this to be a collaborative environment, but when lives are at stake and industry is not getting off the dime fast enough,” she said, a more regulatory approach could be the next step. Bottom line: Consumers and businesses need to know the rules of the road on cyber, she said.

For more information on the event, see the archived webcast.


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