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12 April 2007, 16:07

US alliance demands more market incentives for cyber security

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The US Internet Security Alliance (ISA), a collaboration between the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab, is demanding curbs to regulation and more market incentives for business in order to improve cyber security. In a recently published white paper, the organisation writes that the US federal government should reflect on existing standards and established procedures and invest in their further development.

The ISA argues that the internet is a part of the national infrastructure and, because of its interdependence with the economy, should be granted top priority. There are already standards for improved security which could be used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide incentives, rather than developing new regulations. The ISA is alluding to the Improving America's Security Act of 2007, passed by the senate in March with the intent of implementing the findings of the committee looking into the events of 11th September 2001. The act enables the DHS to develop programmes for the awarding of standards and certification.

The ISA cites SEMATECH, a consortium founded by the government and private businesses in the late 80s dedicated to solving problems in the manufacture of semi-conductor products, which in their opinion is a successful role model. According to the ISA it revitalised the US semi-conductor industry and retained its positive influence long after it had ceased to receive public subsidies. The ISA is suggesting a similar program involving a collaboration between the government, educational institutes and business, in order to supplement vulnerable internet protocols with secure protocols. This could form the basis for a significant improvement in the hardware on which the internet is based.


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