In February of 2016, the President issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity within the Department of Commerce. The Commission was charged with “recommending bold, actionable steps that the government, private sector, and the nation as a whole can take to bolster cybersecurity in today’s digital world, and reporting back by the beginning of December.”
On December 1 the Commission issued its final Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy. The Commission urged the incoming administration to strengthen cybersecurity efforts within its first 100 days. The report includes 16 major recommendations and related actions that can hopefully serve as a useful framework for significantly enhancing the Nation’s cybersecurity.
The widespread success of the Internet in the 1990s has led to a historical transition from the industrial age of the past two centuries to an economy and society increasingly based on global, digital interactions. This transition has significantly accelerated over the past decade with the advent of billions of smartphones, tens of billions of IoT devices and huge amounts of data, all now connected via Internet-based broadband networks.
At the same time, Internet threats have been growing. Large-scale fraud, data breaches, and identity thefts are becoming more common. Companies are finding that cyber-attacks are costly to prevent and recover from. As we move from a world of physical interactions and paper documents, to a world primarily governed by digital data and transactions, our existing methods for protecting identities and data are proving inadequate.