It’s a Mad, Mad Cyber World – But We’re Working on That

Samantha Demetriou ⬥ 29 December

Earlier this month, we attended a Cybersecurity Forum presented by The Atlantic and Government Executive. The event featured an interview with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) Deputy Director Kaigham Gabriel; three panels on the future of cybersecurity, cybersecurity in commerce, and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure; as well as a keynote speech by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

One of the most interesting themes of the forum that we noted was the emphasis on partnership between the public and private sectors – both the representatives of the U.S. government who were present and the representatives from private industry agreed that the best way toward progress in improving national cybersecurity is for the two sectors to work together in a mutually beneficial relationship that combines the innovation of the private sector with the regulatory authority of the government.

Through our work here at FairWinds and at the non-profit we launched, the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), we also believe in the strength of the combined resources and skills of the public and private sectors. As FairWinds helps its private sector clients become leaders in savvy domain name practices, CADNA works with legislators to develop laws to improve the Internet, as it is impacted by the domain name space. Together we hope to make the digital world a better place for both businesses and consumers alike.

During the panel discussion about cybersecurity in commerce, the issue of the high cost of cybersecurity was raised. Businesses have been hesitant to adopt more comprehensive cybersecurity measures because of the unfavorable economic climate, and have forgone taking all the necessary steps to better secure their core operating systems. On the flip side, Internet attacks are cheap, easy, profitable and attackers are seldom caught. It is hard to show the ROI of investing in cybersecurity, but it is worth it, and the U.S. government needs to give businesses operating in the U.S. the economic incentives to do so.

Similarly, domain names are a key component to branding and marketing strategies, and also trademark and customer protection. Strategic domains are worth investing in because, like cyberattacks, cybersquatting is easy, cheap and profitable. FairWinds works to educate businesses and help them get ahead of cybersquatters. CADNA comes in on the legislative side, pushing for stronger measures against cybersquatting, and better protection for brands and consumers online.

It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm of government representatives toward partnering with the private sector on cyber issues. Moving forward into 2011, we hope to continue working through both FairWinds and CADNA to foster both public and private sector progress in improving the domain name space. 

Tags: CADNA, Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, consumer protection, cybersecurity, DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, domain names, Events, FairWinds, Internet, Janet Napolitano, Kaigham Gabriel, private sector, public sector, The Atlantic and Government Executive, trademark protection, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

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