Securing Breakthrough Technologies – The Next Five Years: Highlights from the NCSA and Nasdaq Cybersecurity Summit
On Oct. 16 – for the sixth consecutive year – the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) partnered with Nasdaq to host their joint Cybersecurity Summit in honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The daylong event – which took place at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square – brought together experts from industry, government and academia to discuss cutting-edge innovations in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, authentication and standards and what they mean for the average person and how we interact with technology. Additionally, speakers addressed the “Internet of Insecure Things” – in which many devices are manufactured without security built in – and the roles these technologies will play in advancing cybersecurity and a safer internet.
Master of Ceremonies Bree Fowler, reporter at Consumer Reports, guided guests through the day’s discussions and presentations. An impressive list of attendees – including high-level representatives from Platinum Sponsors Cisco, Dell, Palo Alto Networks and Service Now; Gold Sponsors Generali Global Assistance and LastPass; Silver Sponsor Fasoo; and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – enjoyed opening remarks from Louis Modano, chief information security officer (CISO) of Nasdaq; Carl Holshouser, senior director of global government relations at Visa and vice chairman of the NCSA Board of Directors; and Jeff Eisensmith, CISO of DHS.
NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser then conducted a fireside chat with Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary of DHS’ Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. Manfra discussed DHS’ role in securing our growing cyber ecosystem, some of the department’s recent key accomplishments and the need for industry, government, nonprofits and consumers to work together to create a culture of cybersecurity.
Following the fireside chat were a networking lunch and a panel discussion on the Internet of Insecure Things. The panel – moderated by David Gibson, chief marketing officer at Varonis Systems and featuring Eisensmith along with Dr. Stuart Madnick, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Brendan O’Connor, security chief technology officer at ServiceNow; and Paige L. Schaffer, president and chief operating officer of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit – addressed the many security challenges accompanying the growing IoT. Security in the IoT has had a rocky start, with the accelerated product lifecycle for most devices and market pressures often leading to insecure connected devices. Panelists discussed standards, authentication and other innovations as opportunities to make hackers’ lives more challenging and debated lessons learned from the enterprise IoT markets and companies who have enabled security as core foundations.
Following the panel discussion was a TED-style talk given by Rick Howard, chief security officer of Palo Alto Network. Howard highlighted cybersecurity education, addressing the cybersecurity workforce shortage and the presence of cyber adversaries. He showcased the need to tap into multiple talent pipelines to fill the cybersecurity workforce gap (including women, minorities and other underrepresented groups) and Palo Alto Networks’ Cybersecurity Canon of must-read cybersecurity books and invited guests to consider the number of cyber adversaries and attack tactics today, suggesting it may be smaller than we think.
Following Howard’s remarks was a panel discussion on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Moderated by Sam Taussig, Kabbage’s head of government relations and policy – and featuring Rohyt Belani, CEO of PhishMe, Inc.; David Konetski, fellow and vice president of security and client solutions at Dell; Sebastian Goodwin, head of information security at Nutanix; and Daniel Doimo, president and chief operating officer at Cylance – the panel addressed the expanded vulnerabilities and lucrative cybercrime market resulting from innovation and the proliferation of connected devices. Despite security challenges presented by cutting-edge technologies, there are also many insights gained from innovation that can strengthen machine learning and help humans do their jobs more effectively and efficiently; the panelists weighed the challenges and opportunities resulting from innovations in AI and machine learning.
The final presentation was from Amnon Bar-Lev, president of Check Point Software Technologies. Bar-Lev took a look back at technology’s massive advances over the past decades and the exponential growth of technology. The devices we use today are many times more powerful than the devices we used in the past, which makes our lives more convenient and unlocks potential for the future but also presents security challenges. Bar-Lev highlighted innovations like self-driving cars and 3D printing of food and even body parts, the implications of breakthrough technologies on our infrastructure and how attacks like WannaCry can be prevented by using methods like network segmentation; he also emphasized that being proactive – rather than reactive – is important in winning the “cyber war.”
Following the day’s discussions, Manfra joined NCSA to ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell in honor of NCSAM with industry leaders and representatives from Nasdaq, DHS and event sponsors and partners. The ceremony was aired live on four networks and projected on the outside of the MarketSite building, visible to passers-by in Times Square.
The Cybersecurity Summit continues to intrigue the media. More than 20 media guests RSVPed, and 16 attended in person, conducting interviews onsite and during networking breaks with representatives from participating companies. In fact, several had held three or more discussions with various executives and remarked at how helpful the Summit was for their ongoing coverage. Thatcher+Co. – NCSA’s communications firm – is currently initiating proactive outreach to learn about stories currently in progress. We are pleased to note that SC Magazine has been active via social media and has already written a story entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Needed to Backstop Humans.” The features highlights information from the first panel which addressed artificial intelligence, machine learning and what it means both for the average person and cybersecurity.
The following is a list of media attendees – an excellent mix of consumer, trade, financial and cybersecurity- and technology-focused outlets:
- Joe Panettieri, ChannelE2E, MSSP Alert
- Jennifer Schlesinger, CNBC
- Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports
- Silas Martí, Folha de São Paulo
- Stephanie Ott, Handelsblatt & Al Jazeera
- Sam Thielman, The Guardian
- Jeff Kutler, Institutional Investor and Risk Professional
- Kari Paul, MarketWatch
- Rob Marvin, PC Magazine
- Jeffrey Schwartz, Redmond Magazine
- Katherine Heires, Risk Professional
- Hajime Matsuura, Sankei Shimbun
- Doug Olenick, SC Magazine
- Ramon Ray, Smart Hustle Magazine
- Steven Norton, Wall Street Journal
- Evgeny Masloz and cameraman, Voice of America
- Samuel Yang, Xinhua News
Thank you to all who helped to make this event possible and tuned in online! We look forward to continuing to promote a safer, more secure and more trusted internet with you during the remainder of NCSAM and year-round.