"There's an issue of trust; if I'm a company and I get hacked or robbed, I may or may not be totally forthcoming about what happened. There's the question of how to create rules of engagement for collaboration that don't exist," Kao said. "There's been crescendoing attacks against U.S. financial institutions, and CyberCom monitors this, but the rules of engagement in terms of how it communicates with the commercial sector haven't been defined."
While the panelists decried fear-mongering by politicians and warnings of a "cyber Pearl Harbor," Coviello referred back to a famous quote by Nicholas Negroponte calling the Internet both overhyped and underestimated. Cyberwarfare may be overhyped relative to the risk posed by a bad actor with a nuclear or biological weapon, but he warned that we may underestimate the extent to which a cyberattack could disrupt confidence, and by extension the economy.