US Needs Better Preparation for Cyber Threats

US Needs Better Preparation for Cyber Threats

Patrick Murphy speaks at an AUSA Hot Topic
Photo by: AUSA/Luc Dunn

American businesses and governments at all levels are not yet fully prepared for the dangers of cyberattacks, former Army Undersecretary Patrick Murphy said June 14.

The U.S. needs a tactical and technical cyber advantage over potential adversaries, something it’s currently lacking, Murphy said at an Association of the U.S. Army Hot Topic forum focused on Army cyber programs.

One of the biggest vulnerabilities may be in businesses that haven’t fully secured their electronic records from cyberattacks, said Murphy, who also is an AUSA senior fellow. Some companies are too trusting. Some don’t want to spend the money. Anyone not preparing now is a weak link, he said.

“There are good people in the world and there are bad people in the world,” Murphy said. The U.S. needs to prepare for the worst.

Public-private partnerships may be part of the solution. The government may need to “use the stick and not just the carrot” to get companies to act, Murphy said.

Cyberattacks can devastate the U.S. economy—they also can cost lives, for example from attacks on hospitals and health care systems, Murphy said. “We have had people die from cyber intrusion,” he said.

Murphy gave credit to DoD and the Army for their cybersecurity and cyberwarfare efforts.