The global cyber landscape has never seemed so dire. From Russian-backed ransomware attacks against America’s largest oil pipeline to the phone scammer who won’t leave you alone during dinner, we’re living in a brave new world. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to Jen Easterly, director of the US cybersecurity agency, tasked with defending the country from all cyber threats — foreign and domestic, who is optimistic about the state of America’s cyber defenses.
Easterly says the US has finally gotten serious on protecting itself from cyberattacks. But the federal government still needs cooperation from the private sector, which operates 80% of the critical infrastructure that serves our daily basic needs. When passed, the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act will require whoever operates critical infrastructure to report attacks coming from state and non-state actors.
Easterly digs into why Russia is the urgent cyber threat, but China could do more damage in the long term in its efforts to dominate global tech.
And should we worry about non-state actors like ISIS carrying out major cyberattacks. Is there still a threat? "Low probability, but high impact," Easterly tells Bremmer. The bigger problem, she adds, is the dozen or so states that are using cyber to do sort of lawful things like collecting intelligence, but then use it for nefarious purposes.
This interview was featured in a GZERO World episode: Hackers, Russia, China: cyber battles & how we win