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Cybersecurity summit emphasizes newness, unpredictability of threats

A recent summit on cybersecurity sponsored by the White House and featuring President Obama as a main speaker provided some valuable insights into both the state of affairs and the Obama Administration's stance on the topic. The meeting, held at Stanford University in California, was attended by a variety of business leaders and experts. This convergence of the public and private sector led to some recommendations for cooperation and development of better defenses against hackers seeking access to valuable, private information.

A recent conference on cybersecurity involved President Obama as well as leaders from the private sector

A new frontier
One quote repeated by media reporting on the event was the president's description of the Internet and the many different types of information sharing, social networking and commerce that take place through its use as the new "wild West." Part of the analogy centered around the undefined borders of cyberspace and the potential for serious, unknown threats to arise. The other major similarity noted by President Obama was that businesses and organizations using the Internet are looking for the federal government to act as a sheriff of sorts.

National Public Radio reported that while the president didn't deny that the U.S. government has to be active in facing cybersecurity threats, he also called on other stakeholders to play a more substantial role in the process. President Obama also spoke about the duality of the Internet and how it both strengthens and weakens businesses and individuals.

"Just as we're all connected like never before, we have to work together like never before, both to seize opportunities but also meet the challenges of this information age," the president said during his speech. "It's one of the great paradoxes of our time that the very technologies that empower us to do great good can also be used to undermine us and inflict great harm."

"The collaborative aspect of cybersecurity is new and relatively uncharted for many for-profit businesses."


Stronger collaboration
One of the most significant happenings to come out of the meeting was an executive order that authorized and encouraged the sharing of information not only between the federal government and private sector, but between different private-sector organizations. This kind of information-sharing may help the business community avoid issues when a similar style of attack is used at many different companies. Network World reported that White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco believes such policies will eventually create more resilient and secure networks, making it harder and more costly for cybercriminals to target, access and successfully extract valuable information.

A shift in strategy
The collaborative aspect of cybersecurity is new and relatively uncharted for many for-profit businesses, which don't necessarily have extensive experience in this type of potentially intense cooperation. However, NC4 has been involved in information sharing for over 15 years, and has experience facilitating the most successful cyber sharing communities in the world. NC4 Mission Center promotes a culture of trust by empowering people and leveraging technology to protect against cyber threats. The NC4 technology fosters community trust and removes trust barriers, to get the right information to the right people so attacks can be detected and prevented.


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