Press Release

Sustainable Cybersecurity Can Help Stop Ticking Time Bomb Threatening Digital Economy

April 18, 2018 , , , ,

Today, we’re happy to announce our newest white paper, “Securing the Modern Economy: Transforming Cybersecurity Through Sustainability,” by Public Knowledge Cybersecurity Policy Director Megan Stifel. The paper argues that the current approach to cybersecurity — compliance-based and narrowly-focused risk management — has failed to protect the online ecosystem as well as public trust in technology and the internet. This growing American distrust creates a ticking time bomb that risks a calamity of public confidence that could undermine both our economy and democracy.

To address the increasing global distrust that current efforts have been unable to manage, the author proposes a sustainability model that would reframe perceptions, create a more proactive mindset, lead to improved cybersecurity practices by all stakeholders, and, ultimately, a more secure and resilient ICT ecosystem to support the modern economy.

As the paper explains, a sustainable approach to cybersecurity, one that encourages every technology user to make the best choice possible to preserve the online ecosystem, can help restore public trust and avoid disaster. Through collective effort, all stakeholders can have greater confidence and trust that information and communications technologies will securely support today’s innovations beyond tomorrow.

The following can be attributed to Megan Stifel, Cybersecurity Policy Director at Public Knowledge:

“Today’s economy runs on data, and for too long a primary focus has been on connecting and collecting it without appropriate concern for protecting it. The consequences of this short-term approach to cybersecurity result in almost daily data breaches that compromise millions of consumers’ and business’ most precious data.

“Critical computer hardware was for decades vulnerable to acute security weaknesses; multiple governments and organizations have had sensitive consumer personal data and proprietary corporate information compromised; and industrial control systems and other critical infrastructure have been unlawfully accessed by criminals and nation state actors. More recently, poorly secured Internet of Things has become a force multiplier for malicious actors who continue to expand the scale and impact of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. These examples demonstrate that our cybersecurity efforts not only fall far short, but also are not sustainable in our data-driven economy.

“To address the looming challenge of declining trust in the Internet of Things economy, we must move cybersecurity beyond public-private partnerships and hope for a technology breakthrough, which continue to frame the issues around fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Instead, we should use sustainability to transform cybersecurity into a set of actions all stakeholders can and want to take.”

You may view the paper here. You may also view our latest blog post, “New White Paper Proposes Adopting Sustainability Practices as a Solution to the Cybersecurity Crisis,” for more information.