In continued support of our mission to cultivate a cybersecurity renaissance that will improve the resiliency of our nation’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors, defend our democratic institutions, and empower generations of cybersecurity leaders, ICIT asked some of the brightest minds in national security, cybersecurity, and technology to author essays communicating their perspective. Our goal is to share their knowledge and insights with our community to shed light on solutions to the technology, policy, and human challenges facing the cybersecurity community. Our hope is that their words will motivate, educate, and inspire you to take on the challenges facing your organizations.

The opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and in no way reflect the official position of the United States Government, Department of Defense, or the Navy.

Essay Authored by Travis D. Howard, CISSP

America’s industrial base is under siege from adversaries who would undermine our military superiority while advancing their own with our technology. Perhaps more alarming is that this cyber threat is not exclusive to critical infrastructure; according to a 2019 article in Fortune, a CNBC poll found that one in five American corporations were the victim of intellectual property theft by China. This represents an existential threat to America’s economic prosperity from another major world power, yet there are no military forces engaged in physical combat. Military strategists such as Sun-Tzu explain how this deceptive warfare is being used against the United States: “display profits to entice them; create disorder and take them.”

Within the defense industrial base, efforts like the CMMC, NIST updates to standards, and renewed pressure from lawmakers have thankfully created a surge of effort to close security gaps and better manage information risk. The CMMC is a great tool in DoD’s tool belt to manage this risk, but it must be coupled with the intelligence community’s support of cyber defense efforts, industry self-regulation, and law enforcement activity. Only a unified effort will keep America’s sensitive defense information where it belongs: in the hands of industrial partners who will turn it into a decisive advantage for America’s warfighters and allies in the next great power conflict.

In this ICIT Member Perspective Essay, Travis D. Howard, CISSP explains:

  • The threat to America’s industrial and military supremacy is due to the security performance gap between the U.S. federal government and its contractor base.
  • How the CMMC and other agency initiatives aim to improve national cyber resiliency.
  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities in improving defense industrial base (DIB) cybersecurity.

Read the Full Essay Here