Resetting the System

Discussion Paper | January 07, 2014

The EastWest Institute has released a new discussion paper, Resetting the System: Why Highly Secure Computing Should Be the Priority of Cybersecurity Policies, which calls for a radically new approach to countering the vast and still growing array of today’s cyber threats.

Authors Greg Austin, professorial fellow at EWI, and Sandro Gaycken, senior researcher in computer science at the Free University of Berlin, outline specific steps to be taken to protect Internet infrastructures around the globe.

“We call for a new ecology of cybersecurity. It is based on the disruptive concept of highly secure computing, which relies primarily on much stronger passive security measures, independent of attack attribution,” they write. “This approach also helps to preserve freedom and privacy.”

Austin added: “The time has come for government and commercial customers to work with industry to set much higher standards for the security of software products, computers and IT services to reduce the potential exposure of citizens and businesses to serious intrusions on privacy or high risk damages.” 

According to Gaycken, “Highly secure computing could help ease the tensions created by the current prevalent active defense approaches of several leading countries. We have to find a new common path.” 

To start on that new path, governments need to work together more than they have up till now. “They should cooperate internationally to realize this new paradigm quickly and before high-end cyber attackers inflict more serious damage,” the report concludes.

Resetting the System offers bold recommendations, but admits that the necessary changes are expensive and the traditionally free, mostly unregulated market may balk at some of them. Governments can create the incentives for this new approach to cybersecurity, but the private sector will need to take the lead in implementing them.

To download the report, click here. To comment on the report, click here.


Writing for CIO Insight, Karen Frenkel summarizes the key findings of Resetting the System in an engaging slideshow. Click here to view. 

Greg Austin advocates Resetting the System in The Globalist

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