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Political Borders Don't Stop Cyberattacks, But They Prevent Defense, Study Finds

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Credit: World Trade Center Utah

Real-world political borders are hindering the defense of cyberspace, according to McAfee's new Cyber Defense Report. The study points to a dearth of common standards of behavior, objectives, and language in discussing cyberspace's inherent challenges. "We've made a lot of progress, but our enemies are a lot better and faster than we are," warns McAfee's Phyllis Schneck.

The report revealed the results of a stress test applied to 21 countries, based on a cybersecurity maturity model devised by former U.S. deputy assistant secretary Robert Lentz. Included in the model are five stages of resilience against attacks, and none of the assessed nations achieved a rating of five stars. The U.S. received four stars based on contributing factors such as the government Computer Emergency Response Team, which has a contingency plan for cyberevents and participates in cybersecurity exercises.

Overall, pessimism prevailed among the McAfee report's contributors that an international pact could supply a framework for cooperation. The study recommends establishing cyberconfidence building measures between nations as a substitute for a global treaty, or at least as an interim measure. Included would be agreements on "expectations about state behavior," says the Center for Strategic and International Studies' James A. Lewis.

From Government Computer News
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