Strategic importance of cyber security

Melissa Hathaway
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Protecting the value of digital investments is top of mind for global leaders. Countries are provisioning near ubiquitous communications to every household and business, and pursuing a development and modernization agenda to nurture their information society into the digital age. These initiatives promise to increase productivity and efficiency, enhance work force skills, drive innovation, and deliver GDP growth. Yet these investments have also created an attractive infrastructure and platform for a wide range of nefarious cyber activities that erode GDP growth. For example, the Netherlands has shown that cyber crime costs Dutch society at least 10 billion euros per annum, or nearly two percent of their GDP. Germany and the United Kingdom report similar losses. The United States estimates the annual impact of international IP theft to the American economy at $300 billion or one percent of its GDP. Put simply, no country is cyber ready.

Ms. Hathaway will give an overview of the latest developments in cybersecurity from a US and then global perspective—and discuss what is at stake for companies and nations.

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