Government's Cybersecurity Role Gets Mixed Reaction

Government's Cybersecurity Role Gets Mixed Reaction
Government's Cybersecurity Role Gets Mixed Reaction 

By J. Nicholas Hoover
January 29, 2010 01:08 PM

A worldwide survey that shows widespread cyber attacks on critical 
infrastructure companies finds that the role of government in working to 
stop those attacks is up in the air. Indeed, a majority of respondents 
believes governments to be among the culprits.

Overall, more than half of the 600 industry executives surveyed by the 
Center for Strategic and International Studies, with support from 
security vendor McAfee, think their nation's laws aren't strong enough 
to deter cyber attacks, and 45% believe that their countries are 
incapable of preventing attacks.

The survey comes as a heated debate has emerged about the proper role of 
government in bolstering cybersecurity in the private sector. In his 
first public speech as White House cyber coordinator earlier this week, 
Howard Schmidt said that fostering public-private partnerships is among 
his top agenda items.

The survey does find, by a thin margin, a belief that government 
regulation is improving security. "I have sensed for a year or more that 
industry, which used to think that the government didn't need to get 
involved, doesn't have any confidence that they can solve this problem 
on their own," Stewart Baker, distinguished visiting fellow at CSIS and 
a partner at law firm Steptoe & Johnson, said in an interview.


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