Michael Chertoff & David London

Is Cyber Enforcement the Right Approach to Reduce Risk?

Good faith collaboration between government and the private sector is needed to combat ever increasing cyber threats, write Michael Chertoff and David London in Homeland Security Today in a piece published March 4.

“In January, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress with stark warnings about the threats to U.S. critical infrastructure from Chinese hackers. While the briefing will not surprise cybersecurity professionals, his urgency reminds us that American companies and their customers are being targeted by increasingly sophisticated cyber threats every day—victimized by nation-state level cyber tradecraft and highly professionalized extortion.

A wave of government action threatens to alienate U.S. companies as they commit ever increasing resources to cybersecurity and have embraced public-private collaboration. Despite growing cybersecurity budgets, industry leaders struggle to understand the cybersecurity “goalposts” without clear, consistent government direction on what “good” looks like. Business and security leaders will be more willing to align to common sense cybersecurity standards that are predictable and risk-based.

Inconsistent government intervention or overreach can erode mutual trust and voluntary information sharing from industry, which the government relies upon from the operators of eighty percent of our nation’s critical infrastructure. The Department of Defense recognizes this in a 2023 U.S. Cyber Command memo, stating “the relationships we have built with our industry partners, is game-changing” with calls for increased data-sharing.”

Read the full analysis on HS Today.

Michael Chertoff served as homeland security secretary, 2005-09. He is a co-founder and executive chairman of the Chertoff Group.

David London is a cybersecurity expert and a managing director at the Chertoff Group.

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