Cybersecurity: the other Elephant on the Campaign Trail

A survey of registered voters finds that cyber security ranks among their top concerns, according to a poll by Cyberreason. We talk with two experts about why its not a bigger issue on the campaign trail.
A survey of registered voters finds that cyber security ranks among their top concerns, according to a poll by Cybereason. We talk with two experts about why its not a bigger issue on the campaign trail.

In-brief: a survey of registered voters finds that concerns about hacking and cyber security loom large in voters’ minds. So why isn’t there more discussion of cyber security and policy on the campaign trail? In this podcast, Security Ledger editor Paul Roberts talks with Ari Schwartz, the Obama Administration’s former Senior Director for Cybersecurity and Israel Barak, the Chief Security Officer at the firm Cybereason about the other elephant on the campaign trail: cyber security policy and hacking. 

With election day just two weeks away, the U.S. voting population is on pins and needles. While polls suggest that this election will not be as close as those in 2008 and 2012, uncertainty is in the air. One major party candidate is warning frequently of a “rigged” process, and the FBI and Obama Administration have pointed the finger of blame for hacks of major Democratic Party organizations at the government of Vladimir Putin of Russia.

No surprise that a recent poll of 400 voters by the firm Cybereason found that 70 percent of registered U.S. voters believe cyber attacks are a bigger threat to the US than ISIS. And 64 percent are concerned about a major cyber attack against the US. In all, voters ranked cyber related threats as the fourth most important issue for them behind the economy, healthcare, and education and ahead of terrorism, immigration, supreme court appointments and gun policy.

Israel Barak is the CISO and Head of Incident Response at Cybereason.
Israel Barak is the CISO and Head of Incident Response at Cybereason.

Could a cyber attack disrupt the upcoming Presidential Election – or other critical national functions? And how well does the rhetoric from the campaign trail track to the issues and challenges facing the US as it seeks to secure its critical government and commercial systems from attacks?

Ari Schwartz is the Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services at Venable. (Image courtesy of Venable.)
Ari Schwartz is the Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services at Venable. (Image courtesy of Venable.)

We sat down recently with two seasoned hands in both the political and information security spheres to discuss this:

Ari Schwartz, is the Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services at Venable. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because prior to joining Venable, Ari served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Cybersecurity in the Obama administration, where he coordinated all network defense cybersecurity policy, including critical infrastructure protection, federal network protection, supply-chain efforts, cybersecurity standards promotion, and information sharing.

We also talked with Israel Barak, Cybereason’s CISO. He holds more than 15 years of private and public sector security experience. As a cyber-security defense specialist with the Israeli government, he spent nearly a decade working on projects related to defensive cyber warfare.

Some of the interesting tidbits in this podcast: Ari talking about some of the measures that The White House used to convince China to back off its decades long campaign of state sponsored espionage, and the discussion of proposals, from the Trump campaign, that the U.S. needs to respond quickly and forcefully to cyber attacks.

You can check out the full podcast below!

2 Comments

  1. Adam Kuester

    I feel like even older articles talking about the steps we need to take against cyber criminals are relevant. I feel like having an open dialogue to users is a very necessary thing. I recently took a course in business architecture and thought that if more businesses were aware of the tools involved in EA, they would not have as many problems with cybersecurity within their businesses. Business architecture encourages an introspective look on how we can proactively prevent some of breaches.

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