Our hopes that governments and regulators can take the head in recommending or mandating the standards create a challenge that the entire industry faces: a lack of common language, a shortage of trained talent, and a lack of unified standards.

FREMONT, CA: While there is a lot of justified advice encouraging the establishment of 'good' practices, we need to see what cyber security 'good' looks like; we need someone to recommend it or mandate it in some instances and hence monitor it and regulate it and then manufacturers, service providers, and operators all required to play our role.

Our hopes that governments and regulators can take the head in recommending or mandating the standards create a challenge that the entire industry faces: a lack of common language, a shortage of trained talent, and a lack of unified standards. Facing the issue of cyber literacy is critical to ensuring the safe, sustainable development of the industry.

Lack of common language

To unite across borders in the essentially borderless cyber domain, we need a common language that includes common definitions and understanding that embrace both the benefits and the challenges of cyber.

The fast-changing nature of the context of cyber means that it has evolved as part of national strategies, either out defense departments or as part of informatization strategies depending on the style of government and stage of economic development. In some cases, terms have been standardized due to multilateral alliances.

Still, most international organizations remain challenged by the variation of terms and understanding as they operate between states. Five years ago, almost every country was still using its definition of cyber, reflecting often unarticulated concerns regarding losing sovereignty in surrendering to a description used by another state.

Reports ranged from defining the "complete network of all virtual and physical ICT devices that can be the target of evil cyber actors" to only the "Internet and pertinent ICT devices." Variations continue.

Finland doesn't use the term cyberspace but instead refers to the "cyber domain," While cyber security is recognized as a strategy for managing cyber threats within cyberspace, Austria and Finland limit the definition to the protection of digital information or critical infrastructure.

Therefore, in the absence of shared definitions between states and non-state actors, including corporations, it is perhaps not surprising that stakeholders start to create their interpretations contributing to an even greater lack of understanding. This is especially challenging for organizations communicating with stakeholders across a domain that is no longer just about computers but spans all areas of society.

Skills Shortage

With states employing cyber for national prosperity and economic development rather than malicious activity and warfare, another fundamental challenge is the workforce shortage of cyber security skills and how the demand is set to increase.

The fast-changing environment means that besides traditional computing skills, new skills include specific sector understanding, ethics, governance, international relations, and local cultural skills.

This is also a chance to promote cybersecurity at all levels and make the industry more inclusive by addressing the current gender imbalance and enhancing the talent pool's future development. Gender and cultural diversity can present a business with significant revenue improvements, lower regulatory fines, and less risk.

Lack of Investment in Standards

Investing in cyber security and relevant resources should be considered equally important as financial health for any organization.

Every cyber security ecosystem actor has a role to play – manufacturers, service providers, operators, standards organizations, governments, and regulators.

This contains building cyber literacy capabilities starting from the top of a company or government, whether to interact and steer the direction of policy or conducting digitalized business in a way that can be acknowledged as "what good looks like!"