As highlighted by the widespread SolarWinds security breach, the public and private sector can no longer afford to act separately when it comes to cybersecurity. Supported by a network of similar hardware and software vendors and interconnected through the course of daily business, both government and private industry are exposed to an increasing array of attacks and attackers, including state-sponsored malicious actors. The crossover in threats requires a crossover in response, leveraging the unique strengths and resources of both sides to increase protection for all.
While private businesses tend to have better access to top talent and are leading the way in new and highly effective approaches to digital security, they can stand to benefit from the breadth and scope of information governments have access to via law enforcement and intelligence services. Pooled threat intelligence enables data to be analyzed and acted upon with the combined capabilities of both. With government agencies sharing their high-altitude view of cybersecurity goings-on all over the world, businesses can be better positioned to act on this information and develop responses capable of meeting innovative emerging threats.
A combined approach would provide workforce benefits too. With the worldwide deficit of cybersecurity professionals estimated at 3 million people, governments can assist by aligning educational opportunities and workforce training to produce more entrants into the cybersecurity industry while private industry can provide growing opportunities to attract and retain talent that can be shared in times of need.
Such sharing would vastly improve the security posture of both parties through enhanced incident response capabilities. Joint training exercises can provide real-world experience that leads to identifying and eliminating gaps, improved access to key personnel and resources, as well as faster response in the inevitable event of a breach.
Working in coordination to improve regulatory guidelines for emerging technologies can offer private industry the opportunity to guide the process and offer insights that will improve government understanding of the underlying technology as they build the infrastructure products and services must operate within.
Ultimately, by actively preparing to face threats together, both the public and private sectors will grow stronger and more resilient. With the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks increasing and with attackers growing in sophistication, it’s no longer safe to go it alone.