Crowdsourcing National Cybersecurity?
When a project is just too big or too complex, the crowd can play an important role, and according to an article by The Washington Post, national cybersecurity might just be the type of project in need of a crowd.
According to the article, cyber networks are best viewed as an asset that we all have a shared responsibility to protect. When thinking of the cyber world in that light, the core ideas from Silicon Valley, “crowdsourcing, open source software, social networking, and the creative commons” make sense.
A number of venture capitalists have already applied these ideas to fund companies that recruit “white hat hackers” that are then available for a fee to find and repair any security risks in client networks. But can the same crowdsourcing idea work for national cybersecurity?
The article addresses the pros and cons of applying this concept for national cybersecurity. One positive would be the free and transparent sharing of computer code used to detect cyber threats between the government and private sector. Additionally, open sourcing of cyber defense would allow for an increase in the number of “white hat hacker” recruits. Most importantly, crowdsourcing for national cybersecurity would lead to the crowdsourcing of intelligence threats, which is essential given that one organization or agency seems to no longer have the capability to deal with all the threats emergency in cyberspace.
However, the article also discussed the negatives to this approach. Crowdsourcing would open the door to government cyber defenses being infiltrated by the enemy, and once inside the enemy could download the code, reverse engineer it, and then use it to insert “Trojan Horses” intended for military targets. Another issue would be the cut in potential recruits due to the backlash from the NSA spying scandal. While “white hat hackers” may be willing to help companies like Sony, they may not be as willing to join forces with the NSA.
Weighing the pros and cons, is crowdsourcing America’s cybersecurity an idea so crazy it might just work? Well, that’s the title of the article by The Washington Post. Read the full article by clicking here.