PERSPECTIVE: Post-9/11 Counterterrorism Is Right Model for Infrastructure Cybersecurity

This piece, by Gen. Francis X. Taylor, originally appeared on Homeland Security Today on April 2, 2019.

Nearly 18 years ago, we were blindsided when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. We now know that if there had been better information sharing between U.S. law enforcement and intelligence organizations that we may have been able to foil the plot. In the years since that devastating attack, the U.S. national security establishment has revamped its approach to information sharing for the purpose of counterterrorism. That new approach involves the systematic sharing of threat … Read More

PERSPECTIVE: A Centralized, National 5G Network Would Pose More Harm Than Good

This piece, by Gen. Francis X. Taylor, originally appeared on Homeland Security Today on March 20, 2019.

5G wireless technology is poised to become a critical piece of infrastructure at home and abroad, and the efforts well underway by U.S. wireless carriers to develop and deploy 5G are not only a matter of economic security, but also of national security. Not only will 5G mean lightning-fast data speeds upward of 20Gbps that will usher in a host of innovations, but the fifth generation of connectivity will allow for more secure and better connections among Internet of Things, enterprise networking and … Read More

PERSPECTIVE: We’ve Spent Billions on Cybersecurity: How Are We Doing?

This piece by Brian de Vallance, originally appeared on Homeland Security Today on January 30, 2019. 

Protecting America’s critical infrastructure — essential to our everyday life — from cyber attacks remains one of our nation’s most important missions. How are we doing?

Not so good, by some accounts. In 2017, a major MIT report concluded that after spending billions of dollars over the past few decades, our infrastructure is somehow less secure than we were 30 years ago. Its authors conclude that “the vulnerability of the systems that power our nation is a national disgrace.”

And this is not merely … Read More

PERSPECTIVE: A New Approach to Tackling Cybersecurity

This piece by Sherri Ramsay, originally appeared on Homeland Security Today on November 28, 2018. 

Every day our computers and networks are being attacked. Sometimes it takes the attackers only minutes to selectively target a vulnerability and compromise our systems. Then they are able to quickly exfiltrate our data, while avoiding our defenses. There is an extensive set of attackers – nation states, criminals, hacktivists, terrorists, and even “lone wolves”. Corporate entities and governments no longer have the luxury of only worrying about powerful nation states. They must be prepared to defend against any of these attackers. The harsh reality … Read More

PERSPECTIVE: We’re The Government and We’re Here to Help Protect Critical Infrastructure

This post originally appeared in the November 8, 2018 update from Cipher Brief  by Francis X. Taylor.

As we look back on cybersecurity awareness month, which ran in October, there’s no better time to examine the cybersecurity health of our critical infrastructure (CI). When a majority of the actual infrastructure that makes up “critical infrastructure” is owned by the private sector, the question becomes: what is the role of the federal government, and how should private industry and the federal government work together to protect the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure?  Is the federal government too involved, or not involved … Read More

PERSPECTIVE: Energy Sector Cyber Threat Is Real; Greater Collaboration Is Part of the Answer

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In June of 2017, when Wired magazine published a harrowing account of Russia’s hack of the Ukrainian electrical grid, it quickly generated broad discussion about the state of our nation’s cyber defense in the critical infrastructure (CI) sectors. But Washington is nearly 5,000 miles from Kiev, and Russia’s ability to take control of a Ukrainian power company through its IT helpdesk seemed even more remote.

Remote no longer. Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, recently testified before Congress that “the warning lights

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CGA President Douglas Lute and CGA Senior Advisory Francis Taylor co-author report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government

Recently CGA President Amb. Douglas Lute and CGA Senior Advisor Gen. Francis X. Taylor authored a report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. The report, “Integrating and Analyzing Data Across Governments – The Key to 21st Century Security: Insights from a Transatlantic Dialogue,” focuses on data gathering, analysis, and dissemination challenges and opportunities across the homeland security enterprise. It especially looks at how improved information sharing could enhance threat prediction and prevention in a transatlantic context.

Lute and Taylor address how stakeholders in the U.S. and Europe can increase the understanding of effective ways to leverage channels … Read More

Opinion: A Cheer for Trump’s Outreach to the Taliban

This piece originally appeared on The New York Times on September 7, 2018.

By Douglas Lute and Denis McDonough
Both authors are national security experts who served under President Barack Obama.

In July, The Times reported that the Trump administration directed the State Department to open direct talks with the Afghan Taliban, to see whether formal talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are possible. Taliban officials soon claimed to have met with American diplomats, an assertion that American officials have not publicly commented on. This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced while on his way to … Read More

‘Our House Is on Fire.’ Elections Officials Worry About Midterms Security

This piece originally appeared on TIME on Setpember 5, 2018. 

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

Greasing the machinery of democracy can be tedious business. Aside from the occasional recount or a hanging chad, the bureaucrats who run state elections don’t usually see much drama in their work.

But this year’s all-important midterms are no ordinary election cycle. So it was that election administrators from all 50 states received rarified, red-carpet treatment outside Washington earlier this year, as federal intelligence gurus granted them secret clearances for the day, shuttled them to a secure facility, and gave them eye-opening, classified briefings on the looming

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What’s next for data breach legislation?

This piece originally appeared on POLITICO on September 4, 2018.

By 

A BREACH OVER DATA BREACH — Amid a years-long standoff between rival industries and committees over federal data breach notification legislation, one House panel is plotting a move to go it alone — at least in the short run. Sometime this month, the House Financial Services panel might consider data breach notification and security legislation that applies only to the banking sector, a GOP committee aide told MC. The panel has been locked in an impasse with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction … Read More