Report from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission
Last year, the National Defense Authorization Act created the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission to address the continually evolving cyber landscape and strategic dilemma facing the United States. Specifically, the Commission was asked the two following questions: (1) What strategic approach will defend the United States against cyberattacks of significant consequences? (2) And what policies and legislation are required to implement that strategy?
In the recently released report, the short answer is “layered cyber deterrence” via a three-pronged method:
- Shape behavior by collaborating with allies to “promote responsible behavior in cyberspace”.
- Deny benefits and increase the costs to actors who abuse cyberspace and the cyber ecosystem.
- Impose costs by maintaining a readiness and capability to retaliate against adversaries who target American interest in cyberspace.
The Commission argues that the entire foundation of implementing a successful layered cyber deterrence rests on reform within the U.S. government. Currently, the government is ill-equipped and not organized in a way that allows for quick and agile cybersecurity threat response. Specifically, the Commission suggests that Congress should establish the House Permanent Select and Senate Select Committees on Cybersecurity, and also establish a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director. Congress can further assist in the implementation of layered cyber deterrence by strengthening the resources and authority of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
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