In normal times, such suggestions might be judged too much of a departure from traditional practices. These are not normal times, however. The outlook for a future that relies on 5G and other new digital pathways is cyber-defined. Our nation has moved into a new era of non-kinetic warfare and criminal activity by nation-states and their surrogates. This new reality justifies the following corporate and governmental actions. There needs to be a new corporate culture in which cyber risk is treated as an essential corporate duty and rewarded with appropriate incentives, whether in monetary, regulatory, or other forms.
Such incentives would require adherence to a standard of cyber hygiene which, if met, would entitle the company to be treated differently than other non-complying entities. Such a cyber duty of care includes the following:. Proactive cyber investment today is the exception rather than the rule. For public companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC and others are driving change from the corporate board-level on down through management.
A favorite entrance point for cyberattacks, however, remains the smaller companies, many of which are outside of the scope of these efforts. At the very least, where companies have a role in critical infrastructure or provide a product or service that, if attacked, could imperil public safety, there must be the expectation that cybersecurity risks are being addressed proactively. Cyberattacks on 5G will be software attacks; they must be countered with software protections. The speed and breadth of computer-driven cyberattacks requires the speed and breadth of computer-driven protections at all levels of the supply chain.
There are a number of good examples to pull from.
Cybersecurity: Do these six things to protect your company online | ZDNet
Shared cyber risk assessments are increasingly a best practice for cyber-mature companies and their supply chain. Several accounting and insurance firms have developed lead metrics to inform cyber risk reduction investments and underwrite policies. The Department of Homeland Security has resiliency self-assessment standards to motivate long-term community disaster preparedness improvement.
A regular program of engagement with boards and regulators using cybersecurity lead indicators will build trust, accelerate closing the 5G readiness gap and lead towards more constructive outcomes when cyber attackers do succeed. Underreporting of lag indicators, as highlighted in the White House report should be addressed, but with the primary purpose of closing the feedback loop, improving the quality of lead measures and the investment decision process they inform.
While many of the large network providers building 5G are committing meaningful resources to cyber, small- and medium-sized wireless ISPs serving rural communities have been hard pressed to rationalize a robust cybersecurity program. Still, they will be offering 5G services and interconnecting with 5G networks. About one-third of these companies have ignored government warnings about the use of Huawei equipment and are now petitioning Congress to pay for their poor decisions and pay to replace the non-Chinese equipment.
Any replacement must include the expectation that the companies will establish sufficient cybersecurity processes that sustain protections. All the networks that deliver 5G—whether big brand names, small local companies, wireless ISPs, or municipal broadband providers—must have proactive cyber protection programs.
For many application developers, a core agile development tenet has been sprinting to deploy a minimum viable product, accepting risk, and committing to later providing consumer-feedback-driven upgrades once the product gains a following. Software companies and those providing innovative, software-based products and services are beginning to insert cybersecurity in the process as a design, deployment, and sustainment consideration for every new project. Such security by design should be a minimum duty of care across the commercial space for innovations in the emerging 5G environment.
The National Institute for Standards and Technology NIST Cybersecurity Framework has established five areas for best practice cybersecurity management that could become the basis of industry best practices: Identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover.
Cyber risk in consumer business
While not limited only to the NIST framework, Congress should establish a cybersecurity standard of expected performance and accompanying incentives for its adoption by companies. While industry-developed best practices are a step in the right direction, they are only as strong as the weakest link in the industry and continue to place the burden on poorly informed consumers to know whether the best practices are being fulfilled. Unfortunately, publication of optional cybersecurity best practices without full industry buy-in may be an attempt at responsible behavior and good public relations, but often do little to change the cyber risk landscape.
Shifting cyber risk burdens to poorly informed consumers has limited utility. The 5G commercial sector needs to acknowledge the limits of consumer-based actions, own the residual risk, and work together with government oversight to assign cross-sector mitigation responsibilities. Current procedural rules for government agencies were developed in an industrial environment in which innovation and change—let alone security threats—developed more slowly.
The fast pace of digital innovation and threats requires a new approach to the business-government relationship. Cybersecurity is hard, and we should not pretend otherwise. A new cybersecurity regulatory paradigm should be developed that seeks to de-escalate the adversarial relationship that can develop between regulators and the companies they oversee.
This would replace detailed compliance instructions left over from the industrial era with regular and fulsome cybersecurity engagements between the regulators and the providers at greatest risk as determined by criticality, scale impact , or demonstrated problems vulnerabilities built around the cyber duty of care. It would be designed to reward sectors where participants have organized and are clearly investing ahead of failure to address risk factors.
Conversely, where sectors are ignoring cyber risk factors, graduated regulatory incentives can change corporate risk calculus to address consumer and community concerns.
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DHS can have a supporting role for this, but at the end of the day, the balance between security, innovation, corporate means, and market factors is inherently regulatory. Absent the ability to impose a decision, government involvement can only be hortatory. Economic forces drive corporate behavior. Of course, there are bottom-line-affecting costs associated with cybersecurity. History has shown, however, that the carrot accompanying such efforts often needs the persuasion of a standby stick. This is only fair to those companies that step up to their responsibility and should not be penalized in the marketplace by those that do not step up.
A rewards-based policy would amplify the value of cyber duty of care participation, especially when others fall short. It would also provide forward-looking incentive for risk reduction and a more useful feedback loop when breaches invariably occur. Consumers have little awareness and no insight with which to make an informed market decision. The situation is analogous to the forces that resulted in the establishment of nutritional labeling for foods. Consumers should be given the tools with which to make informed decisions.
Facebook enjoys rare court win over privacy breach, investor claims. A lawsuit brought forward by investors has been dismissed -- but can be refiled. Two cybersecurity myths you need to forget right now, if you want to stop the hackers ZDNet's Danny Palmer explains how the wrong attitudes towards cybersecurity risk and complexity could leave your company open to attack. Special feature. My Profile Log Out.
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You may unsubscribe from these newsletters at any time. Malware infection disrupts production at defence contractor plants in three countries Rheinmetall plants in Brazil, Mexico, and the US disrupted by malware infection. For example, backdoors are increasingly used to upload cryptominers for launching cryptojacking attacks. These attacks break into your website or web server network, install cryptomining software and steal computing processing power from visitors.
Cryptojacking is completely symptomless to the website owner, which is why this stealthy attack is becoming a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. According to the Trend Micro Midyear Security Roundup , there was a percent increase in cryptomining detections during the first six months of SEO spam is another serious threat. This malicious software is installed on web servers to modify or create web pages that serve the spammer's purposes. They can post thousands of bad links in website forums or comment sections connecting to an external website. Large numbers of links to that page increases its search ranking.
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A spam attack kit that plants SEO spam techniques on your site can invoke spam penalties from search engines, damage your search engine results and affect your revenue. To make matters worse, SEO spam kits are delivered by bots--automated software applications that usually aim to gain control over a computer.
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It may surprise you to learn that there are more bots in website traffic than actual humans. In fact, according to SiteLock data, a stunning 60 percent of all website traffic comes from internet bots, many of which are malicious.
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