Solarium Commission, March 2020

“Our country is at risk, not only from a catastrophic cyberattack but from millions of daily intrusions disrupting everything from financial transactions to the inner workings of our electoral system. Capturing the complexity of this challenge is hard. Even the man credited with inventing the term “cyber-space,” the science fiction author William Gibson, would later criticize it as an “evocative and essentially meaningless” buzzword. In studying this issue, it is easy to descend into a morass of classification, acronyms, jargon, and obscure government organization charts.”



Key Quotes from the Solarium Report


“The reality is that we are dangerously insecure in cyber. Your entire life—your paycheck, your health care, your electricity—increasingly relies on networks of digital devices that store, process, and analyze data. These networks are vulnerable, if not already compromised. Our country has lost hundreds of billions of dollars to nation-state-sponsored intellectual property

 theft using cyber espionage. A major cyberattack on the nation’s critical infrastructure and economic system would create chaos and lasting damage exceeding that wreaked by fires in California, floods in the Midwest, and hurricanes in the Southeast.”
“We need C-suite executives to take cyber seriously since they are on the front lines. With support from the federal government, private-sector entities must be able to act with speed and agility to stop cyberattackers from breaking out in their networks and the larger array of networks on which the nation relies.”
“The status quo is inviting attacks on America every second of every day. The status quo is a slow surrender of American power and responsibility. We all want that to stop. So please do us, and your fellow Americans, a favor. Read this report and then demand that your government and private sector leadership act with speed and agility to secure our cyber future.”


“For over 20 years, nation-states and non-state actors have used cyberspace to subvert American power, American security, and the American way of life. Despite numerous criminal indictments, economic sanctions, and the development of robust cyber and non-cyber military capabilities, the attacks against the United States have continued. The perpetrators saw that their onslaught damaged the United States without triggering a significant retaliation. Chinese cyber operators stole hundreds of billions of dollars in intellectual property to accelerate China’s military and economic rise and undermine U.S. military dominance. Russian operators and their proxies damaged public trust in the integrity of American elections and democratic institutions.China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea all probed U.S. critical infrastructure with impunity. Criminals leverage globally connected networks to steal assets from individuals, companies, and governments.”