Making the Private Public

Looking to increase cooperation and reduce the impact of individual cyber attacks, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas appealed to the private sector to increase information sharing with government agencies, according to Fordham News.

Seeking to prevent attacks from growing in magnitude, Mayorkas told a room full of FBI and Fordham University students: “Look, we’re all in this together. Some of us are in it as a calling, some of us are nonprofit, and some are for profit. For those of you who are for profit, you have many streams of revenue. The cyber threat indicator should not be one of them. That needs to be a public good. Hopefully, we’ll get to a point where that become a public good and is no longer a for-profit commodity, and we can raise the bar of the entire cyber ecosystem in terms of our defense mechanisms.”

Referencing the recent documents clarifying the roles and responsibilities of federal agencies in the event of cyberattack, including the need for responses to both the source of the cyberthreat and the assets under attack, Mayorkas discussed the difficulty of asset response in an environment where communication is lacking between government and private industry due to a lack of trust. According to Fordham News, Mayorkas said “The idea of voluntarily providing information to the government still requires a bridge for many to cross, and I hope that we will all work very hard to overcome that trust deficit. Words, of course will not do it, but action, and bringing benefit to different communities will achieve it, and it’s a privilege for me to be a part of that effort.”