Over 120 countries and an unknown number of criminals and terrorist groups are developing cyber attack and spying capabilities, some of which could imperil not only U.S. military targets, but also power grids, communication networks, transportation hubs, and other critical infrastructure. This growing danger poses an accelerating threat to global communications and economic prosperity, which depend on safe access to the Internet worldwide. Indeed, the reported cost of downtime from major cyber attacks already exceeds 6 million dollars per day. The U.S. government needs to develop new, tailored strategies to protect critical infrastructure, a vital element of national security.
This roundtable discussion, led by Center for a New American Security (CNAS) President Dr. John Nagl and Vice President and Director of Studies Dr. Kristin M. Lord, brought together a select group of representatives from government, business, and policy organizations to discuss the cyber security risks that the nation’s critical infrastructure faces. The discussion was part of the CNAS cyber security project, based on the premise that national leaders, not just technical experts, must understand the nature of cyber threats and implement policies to protect the United States from the emerging security threats in cyberspace.