Former CIA Director Calls U.S. Cyber Security Measures Too Little Too Late

General Michael Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (NSA), told The Wall Street Journal the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is a good first step, but it’s too little too late. The government will not be ready to address companies’ cybersecurity needs.

CISA is designed to improve cybersecurity in the U.S. through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats, according to Wikipedia. The law allows the sharing of Internet traffic information between the government and technology and manufacturing companies. Opponents say it will move responsibility from private business to the government, thereby increasing the vulnerability of private personal information, as well as dispersing personal private information across government agencies, including the NSA and local police.

Also read: Cyber Warfare: The New Arms Race

Cyber: Largest Ungoverned Space Ever

Hayden, who currently serves as principal of Chertoff Group, referred to cyber as a domain unto itself such as land, sea, air and space. “This is the largest ungoverned space in human history. There is no rule of law up here,” he said.

While citizens expect the government to protect them, Hayden said technology is going to move much faster than any government can move. At the same time, citizens have not yet decided what it is they will allow the government to keep safe. Hence, citizens will be responsible for their own safety in the cyber realm.

Hayden said there is a lot of promising private sector activity in the area of cyber security.

Should U.S. companies be allowed to create unbreakable encryption? The FBI is saying that it needs to read private emails. But is the country more secure with unbreakable encryption?

Hayden said the FBI is wrong since its logic is based on the belief that the FBI remains the main body and the citizen should accommodate his or her movements to those of the main body. In the cyber domain, the FBI is not the main body – the citizen is.

Cyber Threats On The Rise

Data theft is growing threat, Hayden said. Beyond that, certain parties are trying to create effects.

Hayden noted that former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, spent much of his final time in government discussing digital 9/11, cyber Pearl Harbor and catastrophic attacks. Hayden said he himself is not worried about such an attack.

What he is worried about is parties with nothing to lose doing destructive things just to show they can do them. He pointed to the recent Sony attack as an example of such an attack.

Sony agreed last year to pay between $5.5 million to $8 million as a settlement sum toward employees who filed a lawsuit against the studio, alleging that their personal data was breached and stolen during the infamous 2014 Sony Pictures hack, Hacked previously reported.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.