Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 25, 2017 at 2:36 pm
By Chris Boyer, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Global Public Policy
Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety Bureau issued a white paper on “Cybersecurity Risk Reduction” that raised several issues around the role of Internet service providers (ISPs) in cybersecurity. While there are too many flaws in the paper to mention them all here, two themes are particularly problematic. First is the assumption that ISPs, like AT&T, don’t have the proper incentives to protect our network and customers from cyberattacks, and that there is some sort of unsubstantiated market failure that needs to be addressed. Second is the notion that the FCC is in a position to regulate this fast-changing area.
The Bureau makes bald assertions but doesn’t provide any evidence that there are a lack of incentives for carriers to protect their networks from cyberattacks. Instead it relies on already-debunked assumptions that there is inadequate competition in the broadband marketplace, and then leaps to the conclusion that ISPs therefore won’t invest in protecting their networks and customers from cyberattacks. This is not merely unsupported, it is absurd.
Cybersecurity is fundamental to what we do. AT&T’s security experts are analyzing the traffic on our network 24/7/365 to understand and identify emerging threats. We currently have eight global security operation centers and hold 179 security and privacy patents. AT&T has a fleet of cybersecurity experts, and we are actively training, and re-training, employees to increase this pool of experts.