Bloomberg Government: The Digital Trust

Uncategorized Posted Nov 17, 2014 by chenpr

On November 13, Bryan Grillo and I attended a Bloomberg Government event entitled The Technology of Trust. The event was one in a series called The Digital Trust, sponsored by VISA, which they are holding in different cities across the country along with different cybersecurity professionals. The purpose of The Digital Trust series is to bring together experts to discuss the importance of security and trust in personal, business, and government data.

Bloomberg trust

The event opened with a few words from the Sanford Reback and Ellen Richey. Sanford is Senior Technology Analyst at Bloomberg Government and was the moderator for the panels. Ellen Richey is the Vice Chairman of Risk and Public Policy at VISA, the sponsor of the event. Both did a great job outlining the goals and agenda of The Digital Trust along with its relevance in a year of very high profile security breaches in both the public and private sectors.

Once the opening remarks were completed the speaking sessions started with some local flavor. Sanford sat down with the City of Boston Chief Information Officer Jascha Franklin-Hodge. Jascha is relatively new to his post as Boston’s CIO and brought some fresh and candid insights into the differences—both good and bad—about security issues in public and private sectors. His discussion with Sanford segued smoothly into the two panels that followed.

The first of the panels had a focus on retail and included Wayfair CIO Jack Wood, Veracode co-founder and CTO Chris Wysopal, and VISA’s Richey. The conversation started with some general comments about the number of past year’s high level retail breaches which helped to point out the importance of the issues to be discussed. From there the panelist discussed the difficulties in securing data while the number of attack vectors continues to increase. The importance of education and the implementation of simple solutions and best practices were emphasized especially for smaller companies where security is a regrettably low priority.

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The second and last panel of the morning included (pictured above left to right after moderator Sanford Reback) RSA VP and GM of Global Public Sector Mike Brown, Assistant Professor of the Army Cyber Institute for the U.S. Military Academy Aaron Brantly, and MIT Research Affiliate John Mallery. This panel focused more strongly on the public sector national and economic security issues. The main refrain that seemed to get repeated throughout the discussion was the sobering reality that although it is important implement preventative technologies the reality is that breaches are inevitable at this stage. The important thing that Mike Brown pointed out is to have intelligence driven security that can identify anomalous activity before any real damage is done.

The speakers had a lot more insight than I could possible cram into a short blog post. The event took place on the 33rd floor of 60 State Street, and after the speakers concluded we were able to chat with a few of the other attendees and enjoy the incredible view of the North End and Boston Inner Harbor. Overall it was a pleasant and informative way to spend a Thursday Morning.

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