The network:U.S. government’s ability to defend against hackers


More responses to The Network survey on whether the U.S. government’s ability to defend against Russian hackers is getting better or worse: 

  • BETTER: “The next administration has an opportunity to continue innovating and make cybersecurity a national priority. It’ll take a nationwide effort that extends far beyond Washington to win this silent war.” — Jay Kaplan, chief executive of cybersecurity firm Synack
  • WORSE: “Opponents, Russian or otherwise, are indeed becoming more skilled, but the number of avenues of attack available to them is growing faster still.  As long as the rate of change in complexity is allowed to accelerate, cyber defense will be a failure.” — Dan Geer, chief information security officer at In-Q-Tel
  • WORSE: “The Russia experts need to come together with the cyber experts and mission experts in individual departments and agencies across government, and ideally key private sector players, to fully assess the risk to ‘essential functions’ and to ‘nationally critical functions… Once the risk is assessed, this same interagency team needs to develop ways to reduce the damage that a breach could accomplish, e.g., find ways to operate that are less dependent on vulnerable IT.” — Suzanne Spaulding, Center for Strategic and International Studies and former Obama cybersecurity official
  • WORSE: “The U.S. government’s investment in its own capabilities remains out of sync. Additional spend on technology and human capital continues to favor DoD, leaving the organizations that have appropriate authority to engage the private sector with insufficient resources to do so. The consequences are manifold.” — Megan Stifel, the Global Cyber Alliance and former Obama White House cybersecurity official
  • WORSE: “Though progress has been made, cybersecurity has not been the priority it needs to be, given adequate resources or coordinated from the top. Trump’s lax statements on Russia only encourage more malicious activity and some in the military’s recent statements of bravado contrasted with the scope of this latest intrusion show we are not as good as we think we are.” — Chris Painter, former State Department cyber coordinator  
  • WORSE: “Offense beats defense as long as it has enough time to do it, and there’s nothing we can do to STOP the offender’s attack.  The most we can do is to retaliate in some way after they have done their dirty work — and revenge doesn’t count as protection.” — Herb Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University
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