The GW Center for Cyber and Homeland Security hosted its strategic conference, Securing our Future, on campus yesterday. The all-day event featured presentations from a wide range of defense, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and homeland security experts, including Scott Kaine, CEO of Delta Risk LLC, who joined a panel discussion, Public-Private Sector Coordination on Cybersecurity.
Other panels covered topics such as countering terrorist travel and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiatives.
Speakers included Adm. Dennis Blair (USN, Ret.), former Director of National Intelligence; Cofer Black, former Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, Department of State, and former Director, CIA Counterterrorist Center; Matthew Olsen, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center; and Juan Zarate, Chairman, Financial Integrity Network.
Cybersecurity is one of the greatest priorities and national imperatives that we face.
Those were the words delivered by the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, in his keynote remarks. What makes the cybersecurity realm so unique is that attacks and duplicate attacks can be conducted with just the click of a button. Moreover, the sharing of cyber-related information calls for a more open paradigm which is uncommon for traditional law enforcement arenas.
The midmarket is at a greater risk for cyber attacks.
As Kaine explained, many small agencies and departments (across public and private sectors) need help to manage their cybersecurity environment. Specifically, mid-to-small companies have the greatest need. In comparison, larger companies more often have the assets and funding to protect their information. Midmarket finance and banking firms, in particular, are usually not adequately protected. The DHS and other public entities need to better support the midmarket.
The government and private sector can work together to accomplish a secure digital environment.
With the passing of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, the capability to share real-time cybersecurity threat information between the private and government sectors has been established. According to Eric Goldstein, Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, Department of Homeland Security, it’s now a matter of demonstrating the benefits to the private sector. That means measuring the value of automated threat information sharing and the progress of their cybersecurity posture.