How the Private Sector Can Actively Defend Against Cyber Threats (Alston & Bird)


Earlier this year, the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security at the George Washington University (“Center”) announced a new project on active defense against cyber threats. The Center  established a high-level task force to examine these issues.  The task force included prominent cybersecurity and industry experts, including Alston & Bird partner Michael Zweiback.

The Task Force successfully released its final report in October. It is available here.

The report comes at a time when cyber vulnerabilities have been exploited by hostile state and non-state actors in cyberspace for political and economic reasons. While companies have improved their cybersecurity defenses and regulators have started paying attention to the importance of cybersecurity, additional means may still be necessary to address future cyber threats.

The paper examines ways to develop and evolve appropriate  risk-driven policies to enable companies to engage in active defense. According to the report, active defense has been defined to fall into two general categories: