Top Level Briefing on Cybersecurity

Leaders gathered on October 12, 2017 in Washington D.C. on behalf of “The Atlantic” briefing www.theatlantic,com underwritten by Accenture to discuss “The Cyber Frontier”. Margaret Low, President for AtlanticLIVE www.atlantic.com/live welcomed the leaders from healthcare, technology, higher education, and government to discuss the approach to cyber defense today and how to prepare for the digital world in future years.

Steve Clemons, Washington Editor At-Large for “The Atlantic” began the discussion with Representative Will Hurd (R-TX) https://hurd.house.gov, Chairman for the House Subcommittee on Information Technology. According to Representative Hurd, “We can defend against 85 percent of cyber events if we just do the basics but we still need to do a better job to recognize and understand threats.”

He explained, “Agency heads are responsible for cyber security so we need the Federal government to help protect us against cyber-attacks. We also have to accept the fact that we don’t know all the ins and outs on handling cyber-security but the goal should be to always get the right information into the right hands so we are always able to operate with a strong security system”.

Accenture Federal Services https://www.accenture.com has published the roadmap “Defining a Cyber Moon Shot: Roadmap for Federal Cyber Leaders”. Gus Hunt, Cyber Practice lead for Accenture, describes the roadmap as a “Call to Action” to ignite collaboration across the public and private sectors plus actively sustain the investment in fighting cyber-attacks.

Hunt pointed out, “As hundreds of more devices are connected, this will only draw more attacks. We must proactively pursue security solutions by using artificial intelligence, machine learning, send data to the cloud for security purposes, and at the same time, adopt effective defense measures so we can quickly respond to threats.

He said, “To accomplish our goals, we need to provide for sustained investment to deal with security, promote the understanding of cyber issues, and discuss the ramifications caused by attacks. We have to emphasize that finding and dealing with solutions are everyone’s responsibility.”

Steve Clemons as moderator, conducted a panel discussion on how to build a safer web with Alison Miller, Product Manager, Security and Privacy at Google, Susan Hennessey, Fellow in National Security in Governance Studies at Brookings Institution, Eric Trexler Executive Director for Civilian and National Security Programs at McAfee, and Mark Ryland Director of Solutions Architecture at Amazon Web.

The panelists agreed that lessons learned from the Equifax data breach was a wake-up call. So several suggestions were made as the need to invest more funds to modernize IT, invest more in cyber security, and truly understand why systems fail, but importantly, enable the Federal government to work together with contractors on security issues.

Kathleen Koch, Contributor to Atlantic LIVE moderated a panel focused on protecting critical infrastructure. Scott White, Director, Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program in Cybersecurity at George Washington University, and Jennings Aske, Chief Information Security officer, at New York Presbyterian Hospital www.nyp.org took part in the discussion.

Jennings Aske, http://@JenningsAske mentioned that healthcare systems are the number one target for cyber-attacks. The main issue for hospital systems is to always to provide for the security of medical devices.

He also pointed out, “Hospital CEOs need to work harder to make hospital systems more secure, but at the same time, government needs to play a more active role since cyber-attacks can really cripple a hospital. One way for hospital systems to advance their security is to invest more in technologies so more effective cyber security measures could be developed.”

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