Industry-Government Collaboration: Our Best Defense

I had the privilege of speaking before the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies at a hearing titled “Examining the Cyber Threat to Critical Infrastructure and the American Economy.” I was pleased to have the opportunity to provide McAfee’s perspective on the threats that face our nation’s infrastructure, as well as provide policy recommendations to improve public/private sector information sharing.

As I said to the Subcommittee, the cybersecurity challenge faced by our country is a serious matter that requires an evolution in the way in which both the public and private sectors collaborate. Each sector has its own set of core capabilities; only the government can implement the complex set of organizational and policy responses necessary to counter the growing cybersecurity threat. Leading information technology companies and their customers are uniquely positioned to act as early warning systems that can identify and help address cybersecurity attacks as a real-time cyber immune system.

With the right industry-government collaboration, networks of the future can comprise intelligence and create resiliency by instantly rejecting harmful code in milliseconds as opposed to the hours it traditionally takes to make a signature. Already we’ve seen public-private collaboration constructs, including the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), the National Cybersecurity And Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

Information technology companies focused on cybersecurity in particular have the resources and the economic incentives to continue to invent and develop the technologies and solutions needed to stay ahead of sophisticated cyber attackers. Enhancing protections for private companies to share information within these constructs will enable us to use this work to its full potential and overcome the cyber adversary – this is what the enemy cannot do.

In the best American tradition of collaboration, the public and private sectors have made important strides to address the cybersecurity challenge and to enhance trusted working relationships. As we work together to further evolve our collaboration models, we can succeed in protecting our homeland from the threat of cyber attacks.

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