Cybersecurity of both government and private networks is an issue of great concern these days. On May 29, President Barack Obama pledged to make securing the nation's most vital computer networks a top economic and national security priority, stating that he would work to make sure the nation's core digital infrastructure is treated as a national asset.
In conjunction with Obama’s speech, the White House released its Cyberspace Policy Review, a document that outlines possibilities for encouraging progress in securing digital systems run by the government, as well as those within private sector companies that own and operate most of the nation's vital digital systems, from transportation and communications networks to energy and water distribution systems. The highly anticipated 60-day review, conducted by former Booz Allen Hamilton consultant and Bush administration advisor Melissa Hathaway, will be instrumental in shaping the approach the Obama Administration will take in addressing cyber threats.
The document calls on the government, working with state and local partners, “to identify procurement strategies that will incentivize the market to make more secure products and services available to the public” and to “[explore] additional incentive mechanisms . . . include[ing] adjustments to liability considerations (reduced liability in exchange for improved security or increased liability for the consequences of poor security), indemnification, tax incentives, and new regulatory requirements and compliance mechanisms."