Debate: A White House order on cyber security

Share this article:

Debate: A White House order on cyber security would be a step in the right direction for safeguarding networks.

FOR

Richard C. LaMagna, president, LaMagna and Associates

State-sponsored cyber attacks require a state-led response. President Obama's planned executive order (E.O.) in response to the defeated U.S. Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA) will allow federal agencies to propose new security standards for critical infrastructure industries. It will also create a council of federal agencies, led by the Department of Homeland Security, to report on cyber threats, many state-sponsored by China. 

The [failed cyber security] bill called for voluntary standardized security practices, liability protection, priority assistance and access to classified information for companies that control the nation's critical infrastructure. 

 Critics argue the provisions are hallmarks of an intrusive government, that liability protection is inadequate, that non-participating companies would be penalized and that voluntary standards will stifle innovation. 

Such ideological myopia is both wrong and dangerous. The federal government must play a lead role in protecting the country and its institutions.

AGAINST

Liz Wright, principal systems engineer, Lockheed Martin

The business of government is government, not private sector. Government safeguarding government assets is appropriate; however, declaring private  sector part of the government “critical infrastructure” is a nebulous definition at best. 

Collaboration among partners is laudable given an equal footing, but when one partner holds authority or provides direction to other partners, the collaborative facade evaporates. Information sharing is desirable among teammates; dialogue is bi-directional. Open communication is key. 

Cyber security needs responsible, accountable, technically savvy individuals to drive vision and create the way forward, not politicians who drive meaningless mandates. In the ever-changing landscape where cyber space meets business, private sector in America still means businesses are accountable to shareholders, employees, and customers. 

Who knows business best? Who protects our assets? He who owns a thing, controls the thing. That's how democracy works. 


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Opinions

Sign up to our newsletters

TOP COMMENTS

More in Opinions

Beware of the malware walking dead

Beware of the malware walking dead

This Hallows Eve might be a good time to remind ourselves that zombies can be just as deadly, and I'm referring to recycled tools and techniques from years gone by.

Why the Home Depot attack shouldn't have happened

Why the Home Depot attack shouldn't have happened

Major retailers are falling prey to massive credit card information heists, despite spending millions on cyber security systems.

Next-generation malware: Think like the enemy and avoid the car alarm problem

Next-generation malware: Think like the enemy and avoid ...

When it comes to enterprise security, one rule remains constant - attacks will continue to increase in sophistication and attackers will seek to outmaneuver existing defenses.