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The Cybersecurity Changes We Need

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The Obama administration's progress toward the goal of making the U.S. digital infrastructure "secure, trustworthy, and resilient" has been sluggish due to the general perception of cybersecurity as a drag on short-term economic prosperity, write Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor, and Melissa Hathaway, who led President Obama's Cyberspace Policy Review.

The last 20 years have seen the publication of more than 12 executive branch and National Research Council reports illustrating the government's longstanding awareness of cyberthreats and vulnerabilities, but imposing liability on manufacturers will boost software prices for consumers and retard software development, as will demands for more rigorous supply chain oversight.

Goldsmith and Hathaway also note that a mandate to share information is costly and might put corporate secrets at risk, while cracking down on botnets will slow Internet access and make it more expensive. "The short-term economic gains from increased reliance on computer systems must be balanced against the medium- and longer-term losses from failing to adequately secure these systems," the authors write.

From The Washington Post
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