Aspen Cybersecurity Group Launches New National Cybersecurity Agenda

December 2, 2020

Aspen Institute cross-sector, public-private cybersecurity forum proposes five areas where policymakers can make measurable progress in the next four years

Contacts:
Carner Derron
Marketing and Communications Manager, Aspen Digital
Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Ben Berliner
Communications Associate
Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Washington, DC, December 2, 2020 – During the second day of the 2020 Aspen Cyber Summit, the Aspen Cybersecurity Group launched an in-depth report outlining an aggressive and ambitious national cybersecurity agenda for the incoming Biden administration and 117th Congress as it begins work in January. 

Read the report at as.pn/cyberagenda.

The agenda, focused on five policy areas where measurable, near-term actions by the executive and legislative branches would yield a more secure and resilient digital infrastructure, was developed by members of the Aspen Institute’s cross-sector, public-private cybersecurity forum—a group comprising policymakers, industry executives, security professionals, and civil society leaders

The national agenda consists of both the Group’s own ideas and proposals developed over the last four months in consultation with more than 60 leading cyber experts, as well other civic-minded cyber and tech-focused organizations, ranging from the Atlantic Council to Consumer Reports. It also draws from recent work by other bodies, like the congressionally-mandated US Cyberspace Solarium Commission. 

The 38-member Aspen Cybersecurity Group—founded in 2017 by co-chairs Lisa Monaco; former White House homeland security advisor Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX); and then-IBM Chairman, President, and CEO Ginni Rometty—aims to move ideas to action, highlighting consensus solutions to the hardest cybersecurity problems through dialogue and forging lasting partnerships between government agencies, companies, nonprofits, and individuals. A full list of current members can be found here

Should reporters have any questions or need other assistance, please contact [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]. Aspen Cybersecurity Group members who were involved in the agenda’s drafting are available for interview and comment.

A high-level overview of these priorities and recommendations is included below:

Education and Workforce 

  • Appropriate new grant funding and direct grantmaking agencies to support organizations dedicated to grow the representation of underrepresented communities in the cybersecurity field. 
  • Change how employers recruit cybersecurity workers to diversify and expand the talent pool. 
  • Authorize and fund a national repository of K-12 cybersecurity resources. 
  • Create and scale an industry-to-school pipeline for part-time instructors. 
  • Elevate and scale apprenticeship models. 
  • Create a leadership structure for coordinating federal cybersecurity workforce activities. 
  • Improve equitable access to broadband Internet services for all communities. 
  • Expand pay flexibility for all federal departments and agencies. 
  • Increase funding for CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service to expand its focus. 

Public Core Resilience 

  • Designate the commercial space sector as critical infrastructure. 
  • Publish a national strategy to secure the public core. 
  • Create a new cyberspace office within the U.S. State Department. 

Supply Chain Security 

  • Promote security transparency. 
  • Publish a national industrial base strategy to maximize competition and innovation. 
  • Promote financial support for free and open source software. 

Measuring Cybersecurity 

  • Establish a federal Bureau of Cyber Statistics. 
  • Assess the cost-effectiveness of cybersecurity frameworks and risk analysis tools. 
  • Improve state and local law enforcement’s ability to report cyber-crime incidents. 
  • Establish a cross-sector partnership on modeling cybersecurity risk. 

Operational Collaboration 

  • Establish a National Cyber Director (NCD) to enhance public-private operational collaboration for proactive disruption and cyber event response. 
  • Update federal law enforcement employee incentives to reward disruption of adversary operations. 
  • Create a personnel exchange program between companies and federal agencies. 
  • Direct and publish a review of legal barriers to deeper intelligence and operational coordination between federal agencies and private companies. 
  • Create a framework to measure the outcomes of disruption and event response activities. 

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Aspen Digital empowers policy-makers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world. A program of the Aspen Institute, we shine a light on urgent global issues across cybersecurity, the information ecosystem, emerging technology, the industry talent pipeline, tech and communications policy, and urban innovation. Our initiatives—including the Cybersecurity Group—then turn ideas to action and develop human solutions to these digital challenges.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. For 70 years, the Institute has driven change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities at home and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado and New York City, and an international network of partners.

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