Securing America’s digital frontier.
By Lisa Donnan, Partner, Option3
Jun 30, 2023

An introduction to this article appeared in the monthly Creating Connections newsletter put together by the women of The CyberWire. This is a guest-written article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, not necessarily the CyberWire, Inc.

Securing America’s digital frontier.

The rise of digital technology has indelibly transformed all aspects of American life. It has ushered in a new era of innovation that has fundamentally reshaped our industrial, commercial, and public sectors. Yet, with this rapid digital transformation we’ve also witnessed an increasing need for robust cybersecurity measures that has inspired bipartisan legislation on Capitol Hill, a National Cybersecurity Strategy from the White House, and even calls for a 7th military branch focused exclusively on cyber defense capabilities.

Clearly, a robust cybersecurity infrastructure and defense strategy is integral to protecting and advancing our American way of life. As the country increasingly relies on digital technology across all sectors of society, it is essential to adopt advanced cybersecurity measures not only to protect against threats and maintain the trust and freedom of citizens in the digital world, but also to stimulate innovation and economic growth. This approach upholds the values underpinning American dynamism and strengthens the United States' global standing.

Firstly, let's examine the need for improved cybersecurity. The past decade has seen an alarming surge in cyber threats, from ransomware attacks crippling businesses to foreign entities interfering with our electoral system. These digital threats are no less significant than physical ones – in some cases, they're even more insidious. Cyber attacks can undermine our financial systems, disrupt critical infrastructure, and jeopardize national security, causing widespread damage before we even detect their presence.

Traditional industries like housing, transportation, education, public safety, logistics, defense, and aerospace – which form the backbone of American society – are increasingly reliant on advanced software and technology. Yet, many of these sectors lack advanced cybersecurity measures, which presents a critical vulnerability that nefarious cybercriminals are all too eager to exploit.

As we embrace digital solutions to propel these sectors forward, we must also address the cybersecurity challenges that accompany such progress. No longer can cybersecurity be an afterthought, something to be addressed after an attack. Instead, it must be embedded in our systems from the ground up, intertwined with every digital process and protocol.

So, how does improving cybersecurity enhance American dynamism?

American dynamism, as it stands, is rooted in the fundamental belief that the values and principles this country was founded upon are worth fighting for. We believe in freedom, opportunity, the pursuit of happiness – but these ideals are not confined to the physical world; they extend to the digital sphere as well. Every American deserves the freedom to navigate the digital world without fear of their personal information being stolen, their finances drained, or their privacy invaded.

Enhanced cybersecurity means more than just defense against attacks. It means protecting the liberty of our citizens, preserving their trust in digital systems, and ensuring equal access to technology. It underpins our aspirations for progress and empowers the nation to confidently adopt digital solutions without fear.

A robust cybersecurity infrastructure would foster an environment of trust and resilience, where innovation can thrive unhindered by the fear of digital transgression. This, in turn, would catalyze further growth in sectors such as education, where secure digital platforms could revolutionize teaching methods; transportation, where cybersecurity measures could protect autonomous vehicles and smart traffic systems; and defense, where secure communication networks could safeguard our military operations and warfighters on the ground.

At the same time, the cybersecurity industry itself presents an exciting avenue for economic growth and job creation. By investing in cybersecurity, we stimulate innovation and foster new talent in a burgeoning field – a perfect exemplification of American dynamism in action.

Finally, American dynamism is not just about national prosperity – it's also about our global standing. As a global leader, the United States has a responsibility to set standards for cybersecurity practices. By demonstrating a sense of cyber resilience, culturally and literally, we will inspire other nations to follow suit and contribute to a safer and more secure global digital landscape.

Overall, cybersecurity is not a luxury – it is a necessity in our increasingly digital world. By acknowledging its importance and integrating it into our critical sectors, we not only protect our nation but also champion the very principles that constitute American dynamism. In the digital age, cybersecurity is not just about safeguarding data – it's about safeguarding our values, aspirations, and freedoms that encompass the American Dream.