Chapter 6 - The Cybersecurity Policy We Need: Incentivize, Modernize, Economize


Although the USA needs to create a digital strategy of equivalent scope, sophistication, and thoughtfulness as our adversaries, it cannot mimic the central controlled economic model with its attendant government mandates and authoritarian principles. Indeed, the free market, entrepreneurial system practiced in the USA and the west should be a far more appropriate fit to compete in the fast-paced ever changing digital age This chapter outlines a series of aggressive policy fully consistent with market-based democratic norms and ideals.  The goals of these policies are threefold:  1) The US needs to devote far greater resources to addressing the digital threat.  2) Needed efficiencies can be generated through systematically evaluating and reorganizing a number of current cyber programs.  3) The US needs to modernize our approach to cyber defense. Nothing incentivizes like money and the statistics indicate the US is already well behind its adversaries in spending in multiple key areas required to be a world-leader in the digital age.  However, the power of the private sector can also be far more effectively leveraged by implementing a menu of incentives tailored to the uniqueness of various critical infrastructures.  Several example models are suggested.  The US also needs to modernize its understanding of the cyber threat.  This would include recognizing the gaps that need to be filled when private entities are forced to defend themselves against nation state attacks, as well as modernizing its approach to law enforcement and education to assure a competent workforce in the digital age.  Finally, government can substantially enhance national cybersecurity by economizing its own processes by integrating cost benefit analysis into its programs and streamlining processes to make efficient use of scarce cybersecurity resources.

Combining Technology, Public Policy and Economics to Create a Sustainable System of Cybersecurity


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