The launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite makes for a better metaphor than Pearl Harbor or 9/11 in characterizing the threat of a surprise cyberattack on the United States as a catalyst for spurring development of effective cybersecurity, writes former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Patrick Gorman. He notes that Sputnik and the ensuing space race supported huge investments in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that eventually allowed the United States to trump the Soviet Union in terms of national security and economic superiority during the Cold War. "We have to frame our cybersecurity challenges similarly," Gorman says.
Recruitment and training are the most significant obstacles to securing critical and electronic infrastructure, Gorman says, and the United States needs to produce more computer science graduates than it currently does.
Gorman says notes that elements which could help facilitate a transformation in cyber security are already established, including the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Complementing these efforts are initiatives to raise public awareness by various government agencies. "We faced a similar challenge in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that experience provides us with a valuable lesson for making our way forward—in which all sectors work together for a common goal that produces a diverse range of beneficial outcomes," Gorman says.
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