If strategic competition is much about analyzing information for decisions faster than an adversary, software will be at the heart of that competition. The national security enterprise should engage the flywheel of innovation and free-market competition in the commercial software sector for national defense.
A cyber attack on a major U.S. port in August was thwarted by the port’s use of threat detection software and quick coordination with a capable, trusted public-sector responder: the U.S. Coast Guard. Close coordination and information sharing between industry and the Coast Guard prevented a potential disaster.
In this brief, the authors explore a defense approach they have labeled the Progressive Values Strategy. The strategy is grounded in a view that the military instrument is not well suited to meeting many of the security challenges facing the United States. It focuses on achieving a level of military sufficiency that deters adventurism by others—as well as itself.
We recognize that the magnitude of the threats posed by malicious cyber activity leads people to look for a big, bold, visible sign of change. Creating a U.S. Department of Cybersecurity is not the answer. We cannot stovepipe thinking about cybersecurity into one centralized place or approach. The threat is so pervasive and so severe that it requires a recognition that a change in thinking is necessary for everyone operating an enterprise.