Just one month after the Office of Personnel Management breach, the U.S. government sustained another cyberattack.
The U.S.State Department and Cybersecurity
While much is made of the role of the U.S. Department of Defense in cybersecurity, the Department of State is very involved in cyber diplomacy as well. The Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues (S/CCI) under the direction of Coordinator Chris Painter leads the U.S. government’s international efforts aimed at promoting an “open, interoperable, secure, and reliable” Internet. The office is just over four years old and is involved in supporting U.S. efforts at the United Nations, regional organizations, and in bilateral diplomatic efforts on cybersecurity. It is the soft power approach to compliment the hard power from Departments of Justice and Defense.
The office’s primary role is to implement President Obama’s 2011 International Strategy for Cyberspace. A key element of that strategy is building international consensus on norms for behavior in cyberspace. As the more recent issues in North Korea and China demonstrate, the office has plenty of work to do. Issues in internet governance, the future role of U.S. oversight of ICANN, and calls for a more aggressive response to foreign hacking have direct linkages to diplomatic efforts. While efforts to establish norms in regards to cyberwar have had some effect, the issues of cyberespionage, especially economic espionage focused on theft of intellectual property and trade secrets is lagging. This will remain a focus of diplomatic efforts over the next several years and will require an effort by the State Department to build consensus in the emerging economies that are trying to leverage the internet to grow domestic and international markets for goods and services. To read more of Dr. Newmeyer’s blogs go to the National Cybersecurity Institute website.
Farrell, H. (n.d.). Promoting Norms for Cyberspace. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.cfr.org/cybersecurity/promoting-norms-cyberspace/p36358
Oti, E. (2015, February 12). Cybersecurity Summit: Want to stop attacks? Use “vicious diplomacy” | Fox News [Text.Article]. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/02/12/cybersecurity-summit-want-to-stop-attacks-use-vicious-diplomacy.html