McCrary Institute director contributes to federal cyber commission recommendations

Published: March 12, 2020
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The U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission released its official report on cybersecurity strategy and policy recommendations during a press conference Wednesday in Washington, DC.

Frank Cilluffo, director of Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, serves as one of 14 members on the commission. The group includes four congressional legislators, four senior federal agency leaders and six nationally recognized experts from outside of government.

The commission’s report detailed a comprehensive strategic approach with policy recommendations for implementation. After conducting an extensive study including more than 300 interviews, a competitive strategy event modeled after the original Project Solarium in the Eisenhower administration and stress tests by external red teams, the commission advocates a new strategic approach to cybersecurity — layered cyber deterrence. The desired end state of layered cyber deterrence is to reduce the probability and impact of cyberattacks of significant consequence.

The strategy outlines three ways to achieve this end state: shaping behavior by working with allies and partners to promote responsible behavior in cyberspace; denying benefits to adversaries who have long exploited cyberspace to their advantage and to American disadvantage; and imposing costs by maintaining the capability, capacity and credibility needed to retaliate against actors who target America through cyberspace.

The official report consists of more than 75 recommendations organized by six key pillars: reform the U.S. government’s structure and organization for cyberspace, strengthen norms and non-military tools, promote national resilience, reshape the cyber ecosystem, operationalize cybersecurity collaboration with the private sector, and preserve and employ the military instrument of national power.

“This report lays a clear path forward to increase the effectiveness of U.S. government collaboration, resilience of critical infrastructure security, security of the cyber ecosystem and public-private partnership,” Cilluffo said on March 5 when he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in a hearing titled “Threats Posed by State-Owned and State Supported Enterprises to Public Transportation.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.