Cybersecuring America

By The New Center — March 10, 2020

To deal with our country’s persistent cyber vulnerabilities, our leaders in Washington need to think creatively about solutions that both respect the private sector’s autonomy and offer a path toward cohesive cyber preparedness on all fronts.


Our Solutions In Brief

1. Support Public Education for Cyber Hygiene

It’s time for us to step up as a nation. Americans from a young age should have access to classes that teach about the internet, networks, computers, and computer hygiene.

2. Pass the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Training for Federal Employees Act

Introduced in 2019, the act would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that federal employees understand the vulnerabilities of Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart watches, home appliances, and cars.

3. Expand the CDM Model to Critical Infrastructure and to the States

The CDM model, which uses AWARE scores to compare cybersecurity levels among federal agencies, would be an excellent model for U.S. states. CISA could allow states to opt into a program in which CISA provides reviews and recommendations for states’ security. If it were equipped with significantly more funding and manpower, it could do the same with critical infrastructure entities.

4. Establish a Standard Protocol for How (and When) to Get Rid of Legacy Software.

Federal agencies should be prepared for how to get rid of their software before it goes out-of-date.

5. Create Hierarchical Requirements for Two-Factor Authentication

All workers accessing sensitive federal systems should be required to use two-factor authentication (2FA). Users with the most privileged access controls should be required to use 2FA with a physical key, a significantly more secure method than with SMS.

6. Define America’s Role in Cyber Law Internationally

The U.S. should take a more active role in setting cybersecurity standards in the international space. If America doesn’t do it, another state will.

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Facts At-A-Glance

  • 35,000

    information security incidents reported amongst federal executive branch agencies in 2017

  • $600 billion per year

    cost of cyberattacks to the global economy

  • Malware

    was the most common type of cyber attack between 2018 and 2019

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