September 4, 2019
Contact: Jessica Jones
Arlington, VA – On September 4, 2019, the National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School published its latest NSI Law and Policy Paper, “Critical Access: Enhancing the Value of Private Sector Security Clearances to Protect Critical Infrastructure,” by NSI Visiting Fellow Jenny Menna.
This NSI Law and Policy Paper:
- Describes the development of programs providing high-level clearances to critical infrastructure industry representatives to facilitate information sharing around growing nation state threats.
- Evaluates the current gaps and inconsistencies among these clearance programs.
- Argues that information sharing at classified levels is essential and critical infrastructure clearance programs must be enhanced.
- Provides recommendations to ensure clearance programs are facilitating actionable information sharing and a secure critical infrastructure.
“Much attention has been given to how government can provide more or faster clearances to our private sector critical infrastructure representatives, but not enough is given to how we can ensure we are getting the right information, to the right individuals, at the right time, and the inconsistent implementation of classified information sharing,” Ms. Menna said. She added, “Clearances are a means to an end—information sharing that leads to action and better security—that couldn’t be any more urgent.”
“Jenny Menna’s important paper on security clearances for private sector critical infrastructure companies being published today by NSI clearly lays out some of the key challenges in the granting of high-level clearances and the sharing of actionable cyber threat data between the government and the private sector,” said Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. “Ms. Menna’s paper correctly argues for providing clearances more broadly and in more consistent manner in order to empower the kind of real-time sharing of threat data and behavioral information that is critical for the collective cyber defense capability that our nation needs in the modern era,” said Jaffer.
About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities. NSI draws on the experience of its visiting fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.
About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.
About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead). It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.