Governments must cooperate on cyber security – report

The report, Cyber Security: Everbody’s Imperative. Protecting our Economies, Governments, and Citizens, which explores the views of leading security experts, found that cyber culture is growing faster than cyber security and therefore everything that depends on cyberspace is at risk. Threats are also being amplified as inequality grows in the current global economic crisis, according to Deloitte.

Steve Cummings, former director of the UK Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) and now a special adviser to Deloitte’s Enterprise Risk Services division, said: “The lack of effective cyber security not only threatens the gains made possible by information technology, but other elements of life that are now under internet control. …an unsecured internet is worse than none at all.

“Advice on the many elements of cyber security is easy to come by. But putting the pieces together requires a master vision that goes beyond technology and process. … The stakes are high but the risks are even higher: isolation, cyber protectionism, and an inadequate balance between security and civil liberties.”

Key findings from the report not only urge governments to cooperate, but also to set up uniform standards of protection and partner with the private sector as most of the online infrastructure is in corporate hands. At the same time balance has to be found between security and civil liberties.

The report calls on the public sector to develop new laws on data privacy and create reliable metrics for internet service providers and for equipment manufacturers and software designers to secure the online environment. Deloitte also suggests providing positive inducements to dissuade cyber-criminals, including incentives for the private sector in the form of tax breaks.

The report warns that those who do not keep up with security may find themselves isolated by those who do:

“Disparities in cyber risk management among countries can affect trade: governments might deny potentially unsafe trading partners, and some companies might move away from operating in overseas markets where they don’t feel their assets are protected,” Deloitte writes.

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