With the aim of spurring more funding from Congress and inspiring a national effort similar to the one that resulted in the U.S. moon landing, a bipartisan group of senators has proposed The Cyber Leap Act of 2020, a bill that would incentivize the development of the cybersecurity industry through competitions and prizes.
The bill would give the Senate Commerce Committee the ability to raise money from other federal agencies — including state, local, and tribal governments — as well as the private sector and nonprofit organizations.
At the heart of the bill is the idea of setting up a series of challenges or competitions that address key areas that need improving with regards to America’s cybersecurity practices. One of these areas is the economics of cyberattacks, with the challenge being to find ways to make it more costly to conduct them.
Other areas of concern that would be addressed through challenges are improving the country’s digital literacy, improving the skill set of the cybersecurity workforce, looking at the role of digital identity in improving online security, and examining the potential threats that may be posed by developments in quantum computing, 5G and artificial intelligence.
According to Nextgov, the bill is based on a 2018 report put together by executives from firms such as Palo Alto Networks that looked at ways to make a safer and more secure internet by the year 2028. That report was issued by the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
“Palo Alto Networks is proud to help lead the development of the Cybersecurity Moonshot initiative, and we look forward to working with Congress as it considers how to strengthen internet security,” said Ryan Gillis, the company’s vice president of cybersecurity strategy and global policy, in response to the bill’s introduction.
There is no indication of the size of the prizes or how they would be awarded, however the bill does allow for the Commerce Secretary to come up with other ideas in collaboration with agencies like the National Science Foundation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
May 21, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis