Governments around the world must join together to create a transnational solution to cyberthreats, according to a report published Wednesday by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

The report “Cybersecurity: Everybody's Imperative. Protecting our economies, governments, and citizens,” concludes that each government must partner with the private sector, citizens, and other governments to work on a holistic solution that goes beyond just technology to combat cyberthreats. Because of the global nature of the threats, uniform standards of protection are needed, the report says.

“It matters little if an individual nation or alliance has advanced its cybersecurity ahead of the rest,” the report asserts.

Governments around the world have a responsibility to recognize the serious implications of depending on cyberspace for national and economic security, Gary McAlum, senior manager, Security & Privacy Services at Deloitte, and co-author of the report told Wednesday in an email. He added that there is growing awareness of the cyber threat environment -- especially in this country -- but globally, there is work to be done. 
Now is a strategic time, McAlum said, and maintaining the status quo is not an option. The current traditional IT security paradigm must be changed  

“Buying more firewalls is not going to make our problems go away, and there isn't a cyber cavalry coming to the rescue,” McAlum said.

Collectively, there must be a more holistic, risk-based approach in dealing with cybersecurity, one that integrates the people, process, technology, and strategy dimensions, he said.  

In addition, the private sector has to be a trusted partner in the collaboration process on regulations, standards, and legal problems because a significant amount of the world's information and communications technology infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector. 

If done correctly, a global cyberthreat solution would enable greater transparency in government operations, increase efficiency in government interaction with business, bolster data protection and enhance trust in online business dealings. In addition, it would add visibility to the importance of cybsersecurity for people of all walks of life.

But if governments fail to enact global security measures, it could result in what is referred to in the report as “cyberprotectionism” -- intended and unintended curbs on trade.

“If disparities in cyber risk management persist from one country to another, some governments might deny potentially unsafe trading partners access to their domestic economies,” the report states.

The report was co-authored by McAlum and Greg Pellegrino, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu global public sector industry leader.