The United States is unprepared to respond to a cyber-Katrina or cyberwarfare attack and must consider three hot-button issues as the new administration formulates its cybersecurity strategy: the role of the intelligence community, cyberweapons deployment, and who should be in charge of the nation’s response to a cyberattack, said cybersecurity and homeland security expert Paul Kurtz today during his keynote address here at Black Hat DC.
As the new administration fleshes out its policies for cybersecurity, the industry should consider a topic that historically has been “a little taboo.” he says: “The militarization of cyberspace.”
The administration is currently conducting a 60-day review of the nation’s cybersecurity, under the leadership of Melissa Hathaway, who helped craft former president George W. Bush’s cyberdefense plan.
Kurtz says cyberweapons require a deterrence policy, and to successfully deter an attack, you first need a capability to trace the origin of the attack. “I would argue that we need an active capability to trace back attacks,” which requires the collaboration among industry, law enforcement, and the intelligence community, he said. Then cyberweapons can be developed and potentially used to “suppress the use of kinetic weaponry.”
“That makes the physical battle less important. We haven’t had this discussion to date,” he said.