the 9th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit
The 9th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit was held yesterday in Washington, well-attended by roughly a thousand registered participants. The theme was partnership, and partnership's place in strengthening cyber defenses.
A number of senior US Federal IT and cybersecurity executives presented overviews of their agencies' priorities. There was a general consensus that cybersecurity increasingly pervades everything their enterprises do (but that everyone needs to do more security-by-design), that legacy systems remain a field of vulnerabilities (and that their modernization and replacement represents an opportunity to improve security), and that the Government competes for cyber talent at a disadvantage (and must look for creative ways of attracting people into Federal service).
There's a more nuanced approach to cyber deterrence emerging in both British and American official thinking—it must be, several speakers said, more graduated and proportionate than the mutual assured destruction of the Cold War's nuclear deterrence regime. Lawfare remains in fashion: a number of speakers expressed satisfaction at the US indictment yesterday of a North Korean member of the Lazarus Group.
Senior representatives of the Intelligence Community wanted everyone to understand very clearly that they were fully committed to securing the upcoming US elections. General Nakasone was particularly direct. He closed his keynote by saying that there is no higher priority for US Cyber Command and NSA than the security of the midterm elections.
And recent proposals that companies be permitted or even encouraged to hack back at their tormentors in cyberspace? Nobody on either side of the Atlantic seemed to like that idea very much, so if you're among those yearned for privateering in cyberspace, you may have to wait a bit for your letter of marque and reprisal.
We'll have more extensive coverage of the Summit next week.