Certification Survey Extra: Government and cybersecurity, Part 4
Posted on
September 19, 2019

Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.

Should governments be more proactive about managing the internet?

Many people in many parts of the world use the internet every day. We rely on our connection to the online realm for information, education, entertainment, shopping, money management, and a host of other purposes. If there are ever problems with the internet or internet access, we tend to think first of whichever company services our immediate connection.

Indeed, for many people in the United States, the question of federal or state governments being involved in the internet in any way only even comes up when the occasional worldwide web-related legislative action creeps into the news cycle. A lot of U.S. residents could perhaps have sketched some facts about the controversy over net neutrality two or three years ago.

In 2019? It's so far out of sight and out of mind that it might as well never have happened. If you live in a U.S. state that charges sales tax on internet purchases, then you may have seen a kerfuffle about that hot-button issue bubble up from time to time. Few taxpayers put on the spot, however, could probably express much beyond the casual assumption that, "Amazon takes care of that now, don't they?"

When it comes to the internet, are we expecting less out of government than we perhaps should be? Should government be more involved than it is? In our recent Security Certification Survey, we asked certified information security professionals what they think. Here's what we learned:

Statement: Government should do more to protect and regulate public information technology resources such as the internet.

Strongly Agree: 24.4 percent
Agree: 30.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.2 percent
Disagree: 14.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8.1 percent

Close to one-fourth of those surveyed (22.2 percent) seem to be advocating the for status quo. By neither agreeing nor disagreeing that government should be more proactive about protecting and regulating public information technology resources, their message seems to lie along the lines of not fixing something that isn't broken.

A bit more than half of survey respondents, on the other hand, either agree (30.4 percent) or strongly agree (24.4 percent) that government should be more involved than it is. We didn't ask where that involvement should fall, or what the scope of it should be. But there's clearly a strong view that government has more of a role to play than it's currently playing.

Those who either disagree (14.8 percent) or strongly disagree (8.1 percent) that government should play a greater role, are roughly equal in number to those saying yea or nay. It's entirely possible that these people want and expect there to be a degree of government involvement. What we know for certain is that they aren't looking for government to be any more involved than it already is.

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