US faces new uphill battle in cyberspace

Emerging threats from developing nations will pose new dangers to the nation, according to a cyber official.

As developing countries begin to catch up with the technology wave and realize the potential the Internet offers, the U.S. will face a new set of challenges on the policy front, according to a State Department cyber official.

“Not every country around the world agrees with the way we view the Internet [and] the way we view communications infrastructure,” said Christopher Painter, State's coordinator for cyber issues. “We really want this multi-stakeholder approach where industry and government and others in the society  . . . think innovation and openness are the most important things on this platform.”

Painter, who was appointed to his current role in February 2011, delivered a keynote at the July 20 Defense & Security MOBILE Symposium held in Washington, D.C. His speech stressed the growing recognition that cybersecurity and related issues are becoming increasingly important around the world.

“I’d say the most dramatic change is . . .  a huge uptick in the threats in the number of years I’ve been doing this,” he said. “I’ve also seen a huge uptick in government and the private sector’s ability to address these threats – not perfect, by any means, yet, but it’s getting better.”

In September 2011, China, Russia and other nations proposed a United Nation-backed code of conduct for cyberspace that would grant governments tighter control over citizens’ Internet activity.

The document met harsh criticism from U.S. officials, including Vice President Joe Biden who said the proposal “would lead to a fragmented Internet, one that does not connect people but divides them; a stagnant cyberspace, not an innovative one, and ultimately a less secure cyberspace with less trust among nations. “

Authoritarian governments that have different views on what constitutes Internet freedom and rights pose challenges to U.S. policymaking, as well as those nations who use technology for surveillance on their citizens, said Painter, who previously served as a White House cybersecurity policy official .

All these challenges mean “it’s critically important that we need to plug into these various debates around the world,” Painter said.

“We have to make sure we drive this policy forward to have the result we want to have,” he continued. “We need to drive this international process . . .  it’s critically important to have this dialog with people who can see what the challenges are and what the practical issues are so we can be better prepared to go represent the U.S. in all these forums.”

Another major change Painter noted was the shift from cyber being just a techie issue; something a chief information security officer – rather than a CIO -- would focus on. Cyber is “now being seen much more as a policy issue,” he said. Technical people are still very important forming what the debate will be but senior policymakers need to be on board as well to push forward the issue, he said.

The international community is just waking up to recognize the cyber threat, Painter said, and domestically, new technologies merged with citizens’ daily lives and business practices shape “a rich environment that has lots of possible pitfalls that we have to be very cognizant of.”

Painter called for continued attention on cybersecurity that started with the Bush administration’s National Comprehensive Cybersecurity Initiative. The 2008 presidential directive spells out U.S. cybersecurity goals and spans several agencies including the Homeland Security Department, the National Security Agency and the Office of Management and Budget. 

Despite its well-intended focus on strengthening cybersecurity education and awareness, NCCI initially had difficulties gaining traction. Times have clearly changed since, Painter pointed out.

“Now I cannot imagine a situation where we wouldn’t pay attention to these issues,” he said. “Cybersecurity really has become not just the flash point that’s sexy to talk about, but it’s something that’s here to stay both at the mid levels and the high levels of government and the private sector.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.