Opinion | ‘Evolving and grave’ cybersecurity threats warrant investment

Russia’s massive SolarWinds cyberattack seems worse than its launch in 1957 of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to enter Earth orbit. The Sputnik launch caught U.S. leaders off guard and was seen as the start of a space race, which the United States was already losing. In 1957, the United States had a critical shortage of mathematicians even as newly arrived computers generated a massive demand for programmers. In 1958, Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by creating NASA and enacting the National Defense Education Act, which provided $1 billion over four years in loans, grants and scholarships for the study of math, science and foreign languages. The cybersecurity threat appears to warrant a comparable investment (in today’s dollars) in cybersecurity fields of study and whatever organizational structures experts deem appropriate.


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