As cyber crime continues to rise, Donald Trump faces a serious challenge in getting this problem under control. Experts have their own ideas about what constitutes an appropriate response, but Trump’s plans to address the issue are yet to be fleshed out.
When President-elect Donald Trump assumes office on January 20, he’ll immediately be faced with a wide range of national and international challenges.
One of the most critical is cyber crime with the prevalence and significance of cyber crime continuing to increase. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey found that 54 percent of respondents from U.S. organizations experienced some type of cyber crime, compared to 32 percent of companies worldwide.
Yet, Trump’s approach to this pressing problem was not made fully apparent during his campaign; therefore, no one knows what a fully operational Donald Trump cybersecurity plan would look like.
Observers have picked up some clues, including a high-level four-point cybersecurity policy, but in the coming months industry experts will be watching to see how the Trump administration addresses vital, national information security concerns.
Trump’s Likely Response
Trump has promised to make cybersecurity a top priority and to develop cyber weapons. Indeed, as news of his victory hit the defense industry, many companies within it saw their stock prices rise. These same companies hope to cash in on modern-day security issues with many defense contractors already developing military-grade cyber technology.
One point of the Donald Trump cybersecurity policy states that the Department of Justice should create joint task forces to coordinate federal, state and local law enforcement responses to cyber threats. Some have noted that this cooperation could lead to increased domestic surveillance.
According to Forbes, Trump believes that an offensive stance is appropriate and could materialize as “increased spending… and in freeing U.S. Cyber Command from the oversight of the NSA [National Security Agency].”
While these clues offer some insight into Trump’s plans to maintain strong information security, more needs to be done to establish “standard operating procedure”, according to Will Hurd, representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district, a former CIA analyst and cybersecurity executive who now heads the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on IT.
“There are military operators and planners, people beyond political appointees, that will provide input here in the next administration — those people aren’t going to change,” states Hurd. “Cyber is an arena that is constantly evolving, Trans-Pacific Partnerships (TPPs) change, and so I think we need clear policy.”
The Experts Speak
Trump and his team may be able to pick up some ideas from industry experts who have been considering the appropriate response to cyber crime for years. In 2013, Microsoft issued a white paper outlining proposed steps for developing a national strategy for cybersecurity. The steps are based on some foundational principles, including a focus on desired outcomes, a prioritized and practical approach, and consideration of the needs of all at risk, from individuals to nations.
Other experts have expressed a range of ideas, including:
· Immediately declare cybersecurity as a priority
· Protect government systems [link to: Cybersecurity’s Role in Government article] and the nation’s infrastructure
· Develop a national cyber-recovery plan
· Step up efforts to ensure safe sharing between public and private entities
· Take steps to protect the private sector from cyber threats
· Focus on legislation to correct problems in current systems
· Continue advances made by the current administration
No matter how it’s done, experts agree that, for Donald Trump, cybersecurity should be a top concern.
What do you think? How do you think the new president should handle U.S. cyber threats?
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