Today’s post concludes our three-part series on Cyberspace 2025: Today’s Decisions, Tomorrow’s Terrain which presented three views of the world and cyberspace in 2025—Plateau, Peak, and Canyon.
- PEAK – the Peak scenario represents a world of innovation, where information and communications technology (ICT) fulfills its potential to strengthen governance models, economies and societies
- PLATEAU – the Plateau scenario is a “status quo” world, in which political, economic and societal forces can both bolster and hinder technological progress
- CANYON – the Canyon scenario is a metaphor for an isolated world, characterized by unclear, ineffective government policies and standards, rooted in protectionist stances
Microsoft is optimistic about the future of cybersecurity. We believe that public and private sector leaders working together can chart a course that enhances the security, privacy, and reliability of cyberspace in 2025 and expands ICT opportunity for economies in all stages of development. That’s why we support legislation that facilitates the free flow of information, builds trust, and encourages innovation. Because data increasingly flows across geopolitical borders, the company favors greater standardization and better worldwide alignment of privacy regulations, policies, and standards.
In the U.S., Microsoft has long supported reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). We are an active member of the Digital Due Process Coalition and have testified before both the House and Senate about the need to update the Act so that it strikes the right balance between privacy and the needs of law enforcement. Protecting privacy and the free flow of information is critical as people and organizations increasingly store information in the cloud.
The EU Cybersecurity Strategy also represents an important step forward and it represents a significant level of cooperation across the Commission. Raising the security baseline across 28 member states and working to foster international cybersecurity norms with non-EU governments and the private sector are very important areas of focus and will take a sustained commitment from all stakeholders – public and private.
Society experiences the benefits of ICT with improved cybersecurity as a result of continual innovation and collaboration across industrial sectors and international borders.
Of course, most of would want to see the Peak scenario to come to fruition, but the myriad policy decisions that ultimately enable such a scenario are complex. Navigating the future terrain of cyberspace requires a sound understanding of the trends across people, data, and devices and the relationships among them.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for attaining the Peak scenario. However, Microsoft invites governments to thoughtfully consider their unique national situations—which of these scenarios they are trending toward, which scenario they want to come to fruition, and how are they are planning to achieve it. We encourage public and private sector leaders to prioritize these key areas if they truly want to work towards a Peak scenario:
- Governance models that provide clear policy direction and a national or regional framework for cybersecurity. Ideally, these models will include commitments to an open, free Internet where privacy is protected, harmonization of cybersecurity laws and standards internationally, and support of global free trade.
- Talent development that is supported by strategic investments in infrastructure and research and development. These investments should balance talent mobility and retention, with an emphasis on educating a modern workforce that can sustain innovation.
- Global cooperation that advances cybersecurity risk management and coordination among stakeholders both domestically and internationally, with a focus on developing global norms that support stability and security in cyberspace.
Throughout the history of our company, we have worked with governments to help them build and deploy more secure IT infrastructure and services to protect their citizens and national economies. We work with governments, businesses, and other industry leaders to help enforce and shape legislative proposals, harmonize laws across jurisdictions, develop responsible business practices, and strengthen self-regulatory mechanisms that lead to greater protections for individuals and their personal information.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get more information at http://www.cyberspace2025.com.