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WASHINGTON, July 25, 2022 – The United States must adopt a more offensive cybersecurity posture to survive in an evolving digital world by enacting sanctions against malicious states, developing artificial intelligence capabilities to identify possible cyber threats and by engaging in diplomacy to deter cyberattacks before they occur. launch, experts said at an Internet Governance Forum event on Thursday.
“It is imperative that the United States strengthen its response to malicious cyber activity,” said Nazak Nikakhtar, former assistant secretary for industry and analysis in the Commerce Department and current partner at the Wiley law firm. “The United States is so behind in addressing these threats.”
The United States is taking a defensive stance on cybersecurity, responding to threats as they arise, Nikakhtar said. No one is talking about improving our offensive deterrence capabilities for malicious cyberattacks, she said.
Nikakhtar suggested enacting sanctions and penalties for violating privacy restrictions against hostile nation states to deter cyberattacks. She also suggested working with allies to aggregate data to develop artificial intelligence that would identify possible cyber threats. She called on think tanks and strategists around the world to develop an offensive international strategy.
“I don’t think enough Americans care about who has access to their data,” Nikakhtar said. “The aggregation of data by our adversaries, like China…is terrifying.” Our adversaries are discovering how they can weaponize our data and that should make us consider the risks and what we need to do to protect our data, she said. This follows Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine and an increase in cyberattack threats against the United States.
For example, experts say popular video-sharing app TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is required by Chinese law to comply with Communist government surveillance requirements. Nikakhtar – who was nominated for her role in trade by the former president donald trumpwho himself wanted to ban TikTok on national security grounds – argued that there was “no alternative” to banning TikTok.
But John Morris of the Internet Society expressed concern that banning specific apps would encourage hostile countries to react by banning US apps, thereby eliminating the free exchange of information.
Meanwhile Eric Burger, research director at the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, suggested that the United States levy its diplomatic power by garnering political support from other countries to deter hostile nation states from launching cyberattacks. It is powerful to bring a whole part of the world on our side when it comes to cyber warfare, he said.
Google executives have previously called on the Department of Defense to continue investing in AI to protect cyberspace. “One of the critical uses of AI is to find anomalies in activity that would indicate a new threat vector,” said Andre MooreVice President and Director of Google Cloud at a Senate Cybersecurity Subcommittee meeting in May.