WASHINGTON— Testifying before the House Communications and Technology Committee, Larry Clinton, president and CEO of Internet Alliance, called current government policies “outdated” and “ineffective” in dealing with relation to cybersecurity.
“Understand that you are dealing with the invention of gunpowder, a completely new thing,” said Clinton. “What we need is a creative, 21st century approach and a lot of what we are seeing in the policy world is not this.”
To prevent cyber-crime and cyber-espionage, Clinton suggested that Congress offer incentives, such as tax breaks and subsidies.
This will “move the government in a direction that will increase cooperation from private companies,” said Clinton.
Wednesday’s hearing was part of the House’s effort to enhance information sharing between the government and private sector about cybersecurity threats and attacks.
“The government must work together in partnership with the private sector on enhancing our nation’s cyber security preparedness,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, D- Calif. “Simply put, we cannot do it without the other.”
According to statistics released at the hearing, cybercrime has become a $380 billion industry and continues to grow.
“As we sit here today, the range of adversaries continues to expand,” said Robert Dix, vice president of government affairs and critical infrastructure protection at Juniper Network. “They continue to enhance their capabilities and their sophistication.”
One of the fundamentals to stopping the advanced cyber threat is for the government to understand that the biggest problem is not technological but economic.
“American businesses are losing dollars and jobs because of cyber-crime and cyber-espionage,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R- Oregon. “It must be stopped.”
Dix suggested creating a citizen education plan.
“Perhaps we could convince every member of Congress to include a link on their constituent website that directs folks to where they can get more information about protecting their health in cyberspace,” Dix said. “We all remember the messages and public service announcements regarding the need to cough into our sleeves, wash our hands and other protective measures to secure our health. We have the opportunity to use the same model…to help educate citizens and small businesses…of infection in cyberspace.”