Robert Mayer

Top Cyber Takeaways from the 2019 RSA Conference

Last week I attended the 2019 RSA Conference—one of the industry’s cornerstone events—where the world’s experts gathered to discuss all things cybersecurity. Here are my key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Cross-Sector Partnerships Key to Success
    Chris Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said that the agency’s mission “cannot succeed without a very close partnership with industry.” In other words, neither the government nor industry can go it alone. Thankfully for the broadband industry, this cross-sector partnership has been grounded through years of personal engagement between industry and government officials. We must now move to build institutional trust across sectors and government departments and agencies, and that will require more intense collaboration at the working levels.
  2. We Must Broaden Our Scope
    Cybersecurity is a global game that requires like-minded governments to share credible fact-based information regarding known threats. While individual governments have their own economic and security interests, the existential nature of emerging cybersecurity threats requires us to transcend narrow national interests. Yes, U.S. national security must remain a top priority, but at the end of the day, the internet is a global resource that must be handled with a broad scope.
  3. CSDE is on the Right Track
    Our government isn’t going to spoon-feed cybersecurity fixes to our industry. It recognizes that industry-led initiatives are the best demonstration of commitment and accountability to tackling our cyber vulnerabilities.

    Thankfully USTelecom is on the right side of history as an industry leader in cyber initiatives. The work USTelecom does as a founding member of the Council to Secure the Digital Economy (CSDE)—like the development of an International Anti-Botnet Guide, and our current work developing IoT baseline requirements and an ICT mobilization framework—are examples of the type of efforts that can move the needle and protect our global digital ecosystem. Not that CSDE needed any validation, but it was nice to hear our cooperative effort recognized.

  4. We Are All Vulnerable
    Cyber breaches and hacks are industry agnostic, meaning bad actors will target anything and everything from online commerce, social media, to the largest financial institutions. The use of advanced technologies by adversaries to compromise system confidentiality, availability, and integrity, whereas at the same time technological convergence occurs across the information, communications and technology (ICT) sectors, creates shared ownership responsibilities to secure the global digital infrastructure. Therefore, we all share the responsibility to work together, all for one and one for all.