U.S. government officials are enlisting the help of private citizens and companies in its fight against cybercriminals and their increasingly damaging attacks. The public-private relationship, some experts say, is the key to improving cybersecurity, according to the Associated Press.
Private industry controls about 85 percent of the internet infrastructure, according to the report. That places a premium on the involvement of such organizations in helping to combat hacking groups, such as Anonymous and Lulz Security.
While it's the government that wants something done about data security, it's ultimately up to the private sector, according to Shari Pfleeger, director of research at the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection at Dartmouth College. That's making it ever more important to bring both sides to the table.
"That public-private partnership is absolutely critical," Representative Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat and founder the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, told the AP.
And more so than ever, the fight against cybercrime is occurring being taken up at the local level. That was evidenced recently, when local law enforcement in Hawaii asked the state's legislature to pass stricter cybercrime laws, as well as approve funding to arm officials with better tools for combating hackers.
According to the AP report, that is something the industry will see more of in the future.
"Local is actually the next frontier," Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, told the news provider. "People turn first to their local government, law enforcement, fire departments, town council, local mayor. We need them to be prepared and ready."
The U.S. government is also enlisting the help of allies when it comes to cybersecurity. During the recent U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and India's External Affairs Ministry, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on cybersecurity.