Part I
Setting the Stage

Part I of this report consists of three chapters. Chapter 1, “Introduction,” provides a brief overview of the report and describes how this study came into being.

Chapter 2, “What Is at Stake?,” describes what is at stake in realizing (or failing to realize) a more secure cyberspace. Specifically, it notes today’s dependence on computing and communications technologies for myriad applications, and it projects a future of “pervasive computing” in which information technology will be ubiquitously integrated into everyday objects in order to enhance their usefulness and in which these “smart objects” will be interconnected in ways that further multiply their usefulness. In this context, the chapter addresses the nature of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, explores some of their consequences, and characterizes various parties that pose a threat to cybersecurity.

Chapter 3, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity Posture,” characterizes the vision of the National Research Council’s Committee on Improving Cybersecurity Research in the United States—embodied in the Cybersecurity Bill of Rights—of what a more secure cyberspace would look like, and it underscores the key role that research will necessarily play in achieving such a vision. Most importantly, Chapter 3 lays out a set of principles driving an ongoing research agenda.



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OCR for page 13
Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace Part I Setting the Stage Part I of this report consists of three chapters. Chapter 1, “Introduction,” provides a brief overview of the report and describes how this study came into being. Chapter 2, “What Is at Stake?,” describes what is at stake in realizing (or failing to realize) a more secure cyberspace. Specifically, it notes today’s dependence on computing and communications technologies for myriad applications, and it projects a future of “pervasive computing” in which information technology will be ubiquitously integrated into everyday objects in order to enhance their usefulness and in which these “smart objects” will be interconnected in ways that further multiply their usefulness. In this context, the chapter addresses the nature of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, explores some of their consequences, and characterizes various parties that pose a threat to cybersecurity. Chapter 3, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity Posture,” characterizes the vision of the National Research Council’s Committee on Improving Cybersecurity Research in the United States—embodied in the Cybersecurity Bill of Rights—of what a more secure cyberspace would look like, and it underscores the key role that research will necessarily play in achieving such a vision. Most importantly, Chapter 3 lays out a set of principles driving an ongoing research agenda.

OCR for page 13
Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace This page intentionally left blank.