Cyber Catastrophe Recovery: A Critique of U.S. Continuity of the Economy Planning

58m | Sep 13, 2023

The smooth function of America’s economy is critical for national security, military readiness, and geopolitical influence, making it a likely target for an adversary during a conflict. To quickly recover in the event of a widespread cyberattack on multiple industries, Congress directed the president to establish a Continuity of the Economy (COTE) plan. The Biden administration delivered its response to Congress in August 2023, but the final product provides no plan to ensure rapid economic recovery. It asserts that COTE is sufficiently covered by other emergency response plans, and as a result, fails to grapple with important questions: Does the federal government have the information it needs to determine the order of recovery in the wake of a crisis? Can emergency response plans focused primarily on public health and safety work effectively to restart the economy? Who should be responsible for ensuring existing government plans actually get updated to incorporate COTE? And, critically, what role should the private sector – the owners and operators of the U.S. economy – play in COTE planning and implementation?

To address these shortcomings and provide recommendations on how to remedy them, FDD is hosting a virtual discussion with Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection; Tom Fanning, executive chairman of Southern Company; Mark Harvey, former senior director for resilience policy on the National Security Council staff, and RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, former executive director of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This panel will be moderated by Dr. Samantha Ravich, chair of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI).

FDD Events Podcast