Top administration officials used a Sept. 6 Billington Cybersecurity Summit to preview a plan that aims to make digital security a household issue in the United States.
Discussed during a panel titled “Envisioning a ‘Cybersecurity Moonshot,’” the agenda is expected to improve collaboration between the public and private sector in order to defeat what Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a “pandemic” of cyberattacks during a Sept. 5 speech at George Washington University.
The plan — set to be formally announced by the Trump administration in the coming weeks — calls for increasing the number of qualified cybersecurity experts into the American workforce, spreading good digital hygiene and having the government work with the private sector to stop online hacking and elevate cybersecurity norms into everyday American life.
“It’s really more about the second- and third-order effects, about changing the culture and having a mindset of cybersecurity,” said Grant Schneider, senior director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council. “It’s not an end state; it is a journey.”
Joking that she hoped the campaign would lead to something like the discovery of plastics, Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary at Homeland Security, said that “an entire ecosystem” needed to change.
Justin Lynch is the Associate Editor at Fifth Domain. He has written for the New Yorker, the Associated Press, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic, and others. Follow him on Twitter @just1nlynch.