US Officials Overwhelmed By Cyber Defense Problem

Saturday, November 13, 2010



While the US government continues to be bogged down over turf issues, with multiple agencies responsible for desperate areas of national cyber security, critical infrastructure remains vulnerable to attack.

Most experts agree that federal bureaucracies are not designed to be nimble enough to keep up with the dynamic nature of emerging threats, and that the private sector needs to play a crucial roll in the future of cyber defense efforts.

The issue is compounded by the fact that federal contracts are dominated by large corporations, which are also unable to innovate and deploy systems to match the pace of vulnerabilities.

"The experts agreed that we need private industry to step in and help solve the world’s cyber-security problems. But we can’t count on the big companies—they can’t innovate as fast as start-ups can. So our entrepreneurs need to lead the charge."

For smaller companies and start-ups, landing government contracts is an uphill battle. Most federal agencies require certain levels of capitalization and mandate prior experience in providing products and services on the federal level.

Further obstacles to innovation are inherent in the legislative process, with a plethora of competing cyber security bills currently being offered for consideration. Legislation is a slow and cumbersome process, and usually results in regulatory red tape that ultimately inhibits the private sector.

The best the federal government can do to remedy security issues is to remove existing barriers and create an economic environment where the free market can do what it does best - supply innovation to satisfy demand.


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