Few People Know it's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. That’s a Problem.

Did you know that it is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)? Yup, every October. To remind US citizens of this fact, the White House issued its annual press release on September 30. In that document, President Trump states:

“This month, I encourage public and private sector organizations to work together to provide Americans with the information, guidance, and tools they need to improve their safety and security in the digital age. I also encourage every American to learn more about how to protect themselves and their businesses through the Department of Homeland Security's Stop. Think. Connect. campaign.”

Topics: Cybersecurity POTUS NCSAM National cybersecurity awareness month

Commuting Chelsea Manning’s Sentence Was Just and Proper

Before leaving office, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of former Army soldier Chelsea (Bradley) Manning. At the time, Manning was serving a sentence of 35 years for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks in 2010. This material was subsequently published by WikiLeaks, embarrassing the US government and exposing several previously undocumented war crimes that took place in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

The President’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence was extremely controversial. The verdict was made over the objection of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, while other military and government officials quickly criticized Obama’s pronouncement.  Just today, President Trump referred to Manning as an “ungrateful traitor” who should have never been released from prison on Twitter.

Topics: Cybersecurity DoD POTUS Chelsea Manning US Army

Cybersecurity Pros to Trump: Critical Infrastructure Is Very Vulnerable to a Cyber-attack

Last week, President-elect Donald Trump received a comprehensive briefing on Russian hacking related to the 2016 Presidential election. In response, Trump released a statement that included the following:

"Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or business we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office.” 

These “teams” tend to be made up of a combination of Washington insiders with intelligence and/or military experience as well as an assortment of industry folks. For example, President Obama’s recent Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity included former NSA director Keith Alexander, former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, etc.

Topics: Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure POTUS

Trump Cybersecurity Dos and Don’ts (Part 2)

Given recent cybersecurity incidents like the Google Android data breach, the DDoS attack on Dyn and the data breach of the DNC, President-elect Donald Trump will find cybersecurity policy a top priority when he takes office in January.

What should Mr. Trump do and what should he avoid? In my last blog, I presented some recommendations for the “do” column. Alternatively, here is a list of things President Trump should eschew in his administration’s cybersecurity agenda. The “don’t” column includes the following:

Topics: Cybersecurity Donald Trump POTUS

Trump Remains Frighteningly Behind in Cybersecurity

As we move into 2017, cybersecurity concerns continue to escalate. These past few months, we’ve seen some scary incidents like the October 21 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the DNS services at Dyn that used IoT devices like home routers and cameras as a botnet. Oh, and the last few months of the U.S. Presidential election featured data breaches of the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email and the subsequent posting of this information on WikiLeaks.

Pretty alarming, and it doesn’t appear like things will be getting better anytime soon. This raises the question: What type of cybersecurity response can we expect from President Donald Trump’s administration? 

Of course, no one knows, but based upon what we know from the candidate and the campaign, President Trump’s cybersecurity policy looks uninformed, misguided, and elementary so far. 

Topics: Cybersecurity Donald Trump POTUS WikiLeaks

Cybersecurity plan for POTUS 45

Okay, the presidential primaries are winding down, and while I expect lots of name-calling, insults and general sophomoric behavior this summer and fall, it’s time for both parties to step up with a strong plan for cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity? You’d really never know that it’s a national issue based upon the proceedings so far. Governor Bush put out a two-page overview while Dr. Ben Carson’s team drafted a high-level proposal. Neither of these documents really dug into existing policies, domestic challenges, or International issues. With the exception of John McAfee, no one has gotten into any detail on this topic.

Topics: Cybersecurity Barack Obama Donald Trump Hillary Clinton POTUS