The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) released a new white paper last week that outlines the importance of public-private collaboration in cybersecurity.

“Industry Contributions to U.S. Government Offensive Cyber Operations,” released by the non-profit on March 28, keys on how the commercial sector can support U.S. government operations to safeguard critical infrastructure from cyber threats and offers up five recommendations to do just that.

Developed by INSA’s Cyber Council, the paper finds that the private sector is often subject to the same cyber exploitations as government agencies, and as such, they hold the expertise and technical background to preempt and orchestrate offensive retaliatory measures against cyber threat actors.

“While the cyber community has extensively debated the wisdom of, and options for, industry involvement in offensive cyber operations against cyber actors, clear options have not (yet) materialized,” the organization writes.

Public-private collaborative efforts, INSA argues, should be the blueprint for strengthening U.S. critical infrastructure. The paper outlines five key recommendations for accomplishing this goal:

  • Establish a Cyber National Guard, to defend targets at the Federal, state, and local levels;
  • Create a DoD National Digital Reserve Corps as proposed by legislation;
  • Develop a Corporate Cyber Reserve to allow the private sector to contribute cyber capabilities to government entities;
  • Formulate a private sector advisory committee to U.S. Cyber Command; and
  • Organize a whole-of-nation “Cyber Manhattan Project” designed to harness the expertise of not just the commercial and technology sectors but academia and human capital as well.

“No legal framework exists to allow private corporations or individual citizens to engage in offensive cyber operations on their own, contributions made under the rubric of new policies, legislation, and organizational frameworks could help enhance the nation’s offensive cyber capabilities,” the white paper says.

It concludes, “In augmenting government capabilities, the U.S. private sector can secure its own assets, increase the country’s cyber deterrence capability, and protect U.S. technological and economic competitiveness.”

Read More About
More Topics
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.