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. Enter: cybersecurity sustainability.
Constant cyber hacks and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have unfortunately become the new normal in today’s internet-connected society. We’re not even a third of the way through 2018, and already dozens of data breaches and attacks have occurred, including hackers recently stealing information associated with nearly 900,000 credit cards used by Orbitz customers and more than 5 million credit and debit cards used at Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth, and Lord & Taylor stores. This unrelenting onslaught has significantly eroded consumer trust in the broad ecosystem of information and communications technologies (ICTs). The growing distrust risks a calamity of public confidence that could undermine both our economy and democracy, creating a ticking time bomb.
On April 12th, the Irish High Court elevated a series of questions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ, the Supreme Court of the European Union) regarding the validity of key legal instruments used by American tech companies to process Europeans’ personal data. Judge Caroline Costello of the Irish High Court is concerned about the national surveillance practices of the United States and the level of privacy rights observed there.
For nearly three months last summer, the sensitive personal data of more than 145 million American consumers was exposed to bad actors thanks to some “ham-fisted” behavior on the part of credit reporting giant, Equifax. Americans were outraged, and lawmakers began to scrutinize Equifax’s behavior during the breach, including three Equifax senior executives selling shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered the hack.
Today, Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold credit reporting agencies like Equifax accountable for data breaches that jeopardize consumer data.