Grim Projections for Cybersecurity Worsened by Pandemic

Governing: In March, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission asked Americans to consider the possibility of a disastrous cyberattack, a kind of “cyber Pearl Harbor,” that turned the nation’s infrastructure on its head. The commission, convened by Congress in 2019 to study the threats that lurk in cyberspace, was not optimistic about the nation’s capacity to defend against such an event. Their report, at nearly 200 pages, was filled with analysis and policy proposals, but its basic message was simple: The U.S. was “dangerously insecure in cyber.”

A big part of this insecurity was the lack of adequate defense for state, local, tribal and territorial governments (SLTTs). SLTTs need federal assistance, the report argued, as the current status quo invites ongoing attacks. Someday the attacks may go beyond simply crippling online bill pay options or disabling VoIP and email systems.

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