Risk
3/9/2011
01:53 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Trade Groups Push Cybersecurity Carrots, Not Sticks

Coalition says financial rewards would be more effective than laws in encouraging private-sector companies to upgrade their IT security.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters

The Obama administration should use financial incentives to encourage private companies to improve cybersecurity and create standards, a coalition of industry groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recommended.

In a paper published this week, the Business Software Alliance, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Internet Security Alliance, TechAmerica, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commend the federal government for work that's already been done based on Obama's Cyberspace Policy Review. That document, published in May 2009, made 24 cybersecurity policy recommendations for the federal government to implement.

The group made a host of recommendations to improve the partnership, urged by the review, between the federal government and private companies, one of which is to provide more financial motivation for private-sector companies to upgrade their cybersecurity.

"The... finding that cost and complexity, not lack of ability or commitment, are the largest problems in implementing effective cyber solutions has also been confirmed by multiple independent studies," according to the paper. "This research shows that although many enterprises are investing heavily in cybersecurity, many others, largely due to the economic downturn, are reducing their cybersecurity investments."

This is why regulation alone won't improve how businesses implement cybsecurity, the coalition said. The administration should use "a menu of market incentives" as well to encourage businesses to create cybersecurity standards.

Any incentives created, however, must strike a balance of being "powerful enough to affect behavior without being so burdensome as to curtail U.S. investment, innovation, and job creation," according to the paper.

The coalition makes recommendations in seven areas of cybersecurity: risk management; information management; information sharing and privacy; international engagement; supply chain security; innovation and research and development; and education and awareness.

Incentives are recommended as part of its risk-management recommendations, which also include the use and further development of international standards to promote cybersecurity and to recognize the different roles and responsibilities industries play in risk management.

The coalition is not the only entity to be critical of the administration's Cyberspace Policy Review. A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released in October found that while the feds are making progress in implementing the cybersecurity policy recommendations made by the review, they must better define agency roles and responsibilities and establish firmer implementation schedules.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2006-1318
Published: 2014-09-19
Microsoft Office 2003 SP1 and SP2, Office XP SP3, Office 2000 SP3, Office 2004 for Mac, and Office X for Mac do not properly parse record lengths, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a malformed control in an Office document, aka "Microsoft Office Control Vulnerability."

CVE-2012-2588
Published: 2014-09-19
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in MailEnable Enterprise 6.5 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) From, (2) To, or (3) Subject header or (4) body in an SMTP e-mail message.

CVE-2012-6659
Published: 2014-09-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the admin interface in Phorum before 5.2.19 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL.

CVE-2014-1391
Published: 2014-09-19
QT Media Foundation in Apple OS X before 10.9.5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) via a crafted movie file with RLE encoding.

CVE-2014-3614
Published: 2014-09-19
Unspecified vulnerability in PowerDNS Recursor (aka pdns_recursor) 3.6.x before 3.6.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an unknown sequence of malformed packets.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio