Alarmed by Growing Cybersecurity Threats, America’s CEOs Say More Effective Response Must Be Urgent National Priority

October 11, 2011

Washington – The CEOs of America’s leading companies today laid out a strategy to protect U.S. economic and national security from growing global cybersecurity threats. Their plan for developing a more modern, flexible and collaborative approach to protecting America’s strategic information assets is detailed in the new Business Roundtable (BRT) report, “Mission Critical: A Public-Private Strategy for Effective Cybersecurity.”       

“Safeguarding America’s strategic information systems, most of which are privately owned and operated, is ‘mission critical’ for U.S. business and government,” said Ajay Banga, President & CEO of MasterCard Worldwide. “We need government to do its part by providing the tools only government can provide – including strategic threat assessments, technical assistance and much more robust public-private information sharing partnerships – to help businesses effectively counter growing threats.”

“Business Roundtable CEOs are committed to strong private-sector cybersecurity protections, including CEO involvement and board oversight,” said Francisco D’Souza, President & CEO of Cognizant. “America’s CEOs have incorporated cybersecurity into the way they manage their companies. We need government to do the same.”

“Mobile technology is changing the way people across the globe access information, and we’re starting to experience the full capabilities of the digital revolution. However, the promise and potential of technology may be limited by growing cyber threats,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO of Qualcomm. “America runs on information, so we must address the need for cybersecurity in order to realize the full potential of this revolution.”

"Protecting the United States from constant cybersecurity threats requires seamless, ongoing private-public sector coordination and planning," said Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO of AT&T Inc. "Business Roundtable’s plan calls for a flexible policy approach that establishes the government’s critical role and encourages companies to continuously innovate and invest in advanced network technologies."

The BRT report offers specific recommendations for how the government and private sector can work together to effectively address the economic and security risks posed by cybersecurity threats and more fully realize the potential of sustained U.S. information technology leadership. Those recommendations include:

  • Integrating the full resources of the U.S. government, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, diplomatic, economic and trade assets, to protect the strategic information systems of the United States;
  • Avoiding a top-down, prescriptive, check-the-box approach that is poorly matched to a rapidly evolving threat environment and the reality of privately owned and operated information assets;
  • Providing U.S. businesses with the tools they need to combat global cybersecurity threats; and
  • Strengthening criminal penalties and sentencing for cyber crimes.

Click here to view the report.