A brief analysis of a public policy problem in the United States that warrants a place on the public policy agenda
The national security of any country depends on the efficient functions of the infrastructures systems. However, cybersecurity threat has posed risks to the infrastructure systems due to the increased complexities and the connections that consequently becomes a threat to the general economy, public health as well as security and safety of the federal and individual financial information. Cybersecurity is a threat to the public thus considered a public problem that needs an agenda-setting approach to solve (Liu, Lindquist, Vedlitz & Vincent, 2010 p 71).
American citizens have also become victims of a data breach as their personal information such as bank account details, and email information has been in the hands of individuals without their consent. Citizens end up losing their money to the cybercriminals. Both public and private organizations have also been victims of data breach and have lost a significant amount that could render some organization bankrupt. It is therefore essential to include cybersecurity in the public policy agenda, and it requires the active involvement of both government and non-governmental actors to shape the local policy making (Liu et al., 2010 p70). The introduction of Cyber Security Policy, thus, protects the public and the private infrastructures from any form of cyber attacks that could eventually affect the nation’s economy and security.
The influence of internal and external stakeholders on the formation of a policy agenda
There is a need to improve national security and develop infrastructures that promote efficiency, innovation as well as personal and business information confidentiality. However, the development of an infrastructure framework that addresses the issue of cybersecurity threats needs the active involvement of both internal and external stakeholders as they have a different influence on the policy agenda (Laureate Education, 2014 p1). The internal stakeholders directly involve themselves with the activities inside government offices that relate to the policy agenda. They include government officials mandated with policy development and implementation, and they have a direct interest in matters that deal with cybersecurity threats.
The federal departments determine the urgency of the implementation of cybersecurity policy depending on the possible consequences of cybersecurity threats to government operations. The government officials will thus ensure that there are measures in place to eliminate potential loss of crucial data that the terrorist can use to compromise the security of a country (Laureate Education, 2014 p2). On the other hand, the external stakeholders involve themselves in policy agendas indirectly. They also affect the decisions and the outcomes of cybersecurity policy. They commit themselves through organizations that act as representatives of their interest in the need to implement the policy.
Two internal and two external stakeholders that are most relevant to getting the problem selected on the agenda
The internal stakeholders that are relevant to get cybersecurity on the public policy agenda include the National Security Agency (NSA). The agency ensures the protection of classified networks to enhance the security of the nation in general. Another internal stakeholder is the Department of Defense and Homeland Security which ensures that it recruits competent personnel to assist in detecting the cybersecurity threats and managing them before it can happen. The external stakeholders include the public who address issues of cybersecurity through organizations (Laureate Education, 2014 p3). The public submits their complaints to the responsible organizations such as Apple and Google to incorporate their opinions in the policy frameworks. The accounting firms also get involved in matters on cybersecurity policy indirectly by offering services to that aim to promote compliance in data security. They have a significant influence on setting the agendas of public policy in the country (Laureate Education, 2014 p4). The accounting firms such as Deloitte and KPMG can, therefore, promoting cybersecurity on the public policy agenda by not only providing the relevant information on the need for personal data security but also for public and private financial institutions.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Agenda setting [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Liu, X., Lindquist, E., Vedlitz, A., & Vincent, K. (2010). Understanding local policymaking: Policy elites’ perceptions of local agenda setting and alternative policy selection. Policy Studies Journal, 38(1), 69–91.