Today’s cloud computing industry is as important as it is complicated, a critical and opaque sector that undergirds the economy but that few people truly understand. Cloud services have become a pillar of digital society, supporting nonstop innovation. They also create interdependencies that generate a wellspring of concentrated risk. Ensuring that the various subsectors of the cloud industry maintain the resilience of cloud-based technology resources is therefore a matter of profound public importance. The federal government should revisit its long-standing hands-off approach toward this industry to reflect the national security interests at stake.

As digital technology has advanced, two trends magnified the risks of malicious attacks carried out via cyberspace. Market consolidation steered more and more users toward a smaller set of software vendors, some of whom grew their installed base to hundreds of millions or billions of devices. At the same time, the explosive growth in cloud computing since the 2000s has led more organizations to link core business functions to the cloud.