Critical Read: Breaking down cybersecurity silos

What: A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center on public/private information sharing.

Why: Over a five-month span last winter, more than 50,000 cyberattacks on private and government networks were reported to the Department of Homeland Security. According to the report’s authors, “public/private cyber information sharing can bolster and speed identification and detection of threats and will be critical to a coordinated response.”

Such coordination is hindered, however, by various legal impediments (“some real, some perceived”) and disincentives for private-sector information sharing. The report outlines the current state of public/private sharing, identifies several steps for reducing the legal hurdles and suggests other ways to encourage corporate participation.

Verbatim: “Many critical infrastructure owners and operators currently do not have access to classified information to prevent a cyberattack because they lack clearances. While defense contractors have many employees with clearances, electricity generation and transmission companies, for example, often have few, if any…. Congress should require the lead agency for each critical infrastructure sector to identify the companies in the sector that provide essential services that could be disrupted by a cyberattack…. The director of national intelligence should then establish a process to facilitate expedited clearances for qualified individuals.”

Full report: bipartisanpolicy.org

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