Cyberspace Solarium Historical Legacy and Methodology

If the name of this report sounds familiar, it could be because it draws inspiration from President Dwight D Eisenhower's Project Solarium. Created in 1953 in response to the looming Soviet Union threat, Eisenhower tasked his national security team with designing a long-term competitive strategy that would outlast his presidency.

Then came the Ware Report. At the RAND Corporation in the 1960s, Willis Ware began to conceptualize a gathering threat unique to emerging computer networks. Recognizing that the advance of computer networking was unstoppable, Ware set out to create a theory of security in the cyber domain. In 1970, Ware published the Ware Report (earlier known as "Security Controls for Computer Systems"), which argued that information must be secured through a comprehensive set of 'hardware, software, communication, physical, personnel, and administrative safeguards'. Many of the vulnerabilities foreseen in the report are still fundamental cybersecurity concerns 50 years later.

Similar to the original Solarium effort, the world is also currently living through a period of strategic adjustment, with the US specifically struggling to defend its interests in cyberspace. For the past 25 years, each presidential administration has reached out to academics, business leaders, and innovators to develop new ideas to solve this problem, but has consistently fallen short.


The Cyberspace Solarium Commission used a multi-method approach to produce this report, including:

  • 200+ meetings with industry experts
  • 25+ meetings with academics
  • 50+ meetings with federal, state, and local officials
  • 10+ seminars/roundtables hosted by think tanks
  • 20+ meetings with officials from international organizations/foreign countries

Unlike the original Solarium, this was not top-secret, but rather an open and collaborative process created by Congress and the executive branch, allowing the Commission to evaluate competing perspectives to create a strategy to best secure American interests in cyberspace.


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