Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Debt Deal Could be a Blow for Cybersecurity

Aliya Sternstein writes on NetGov.com:

The $2.1 trillion debt-cap pact that Congress passed Tuesday could hurt economic and national security as agencies postpone plans to invest in cybersecurity technology and hire more network specialists due to uncertainty over potential program cuts, computer security advisers say.

The legislation automatically chops about $1 trillion from federal activities outside of entitlement programs through spending caps between 2012 and 2021. Separately, a $1.2 billion across-the-board cut will kick in if a joint congressional committee cannot reach agreement on additional deficit reduction measures by December.

The belt-buckling is happening at a time when nation-states are believed to be stealing market-moving and security-sensitive information from computers belonging to corporations and policymakers. And businesses cannot afford or are unwilling to pay for the security to do anything about it, according to some experts.

"The main problem is that the call to shrink government and rely on the private sector and markets to address public problems guarantees weak cybersecurity," said James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has advised the Obama administration on policy matters. "A government small enough to drown in a bathtub is no match for advanced foreign opponents."
More here.


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