When asked to rate the country's readiness for a cyber attack on a scale of one to 10, General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, recently gave "around three," as his answer, according to CNN.
Alexander's response is just one reason why Timothy Sample, vice president of the Battelle Memorial Institute and co-author of the new book #CyberDoc: No Borders - No Boundaries: National Doctrine for the Cyber Era, believes a cybersecurity doctrine must be established immediately. Michael Swetnam, CEO and chairman of the Potomac Institute, and David Smith, director of the Potomac Institute Cyber Center, recently joined Sample at an event to talk about how prepared the U.S. is for future cyber attacks, Computerworld reports.
"Deterrence works on a declaratory policy: 'If you do these things, we will do bad things to you,'" said Smith, as quoted by Computerworld. "You don't have to be explicit: 'If you do this, we will do exactly that,' but you need to be pretty firm."
Without a cybersecurity doctrine in place, Sample believes the U.S. will stagger from one crisis to another, instead of knowing how to respondy to and deter cber attacks.
Having a doctrine in place with a more defined explanation of how the nation would respond to future cyber attacks could also help colleges and universities better prepare the next generation of bachelor's degree seekers with an interest in reducing the cyber threat to the U.S.