Federal, State, Native Cyber Leaders Meet to Talk about Threats


Cybersecurity specialists from state and native authorities, in addition to prime federal businesses, gathered this week to debate every thing from vital infrastructure assaults to considerations about China. Listed below are some prime takeaways.

March 24, 2024 • 

Dan Lohrmann

“China in Your Digital Yard” panel dialogue

Who are you able to belief to fight the rising variety of AI-generated election deepfake threats?

That was simply one of many questions addressed throughout roundtable discussions this previous week on the inaugural Billington State and Native Cybersecurity Summit held on March 19-20 on the Nationwide Press Membership in Washington, D.C. The occasion included nationwide specialists from native, state and federal authorities businesses, in addition to private-sector corporations and nonprofit teams.
A number of the matters on the agenda included:

  • Behind the scenes particulars on ransomware assaults in opposition to governments
  • Varied elements of election safety — together with threats from international nation-states
  • The function of the Nationwide Guard in state and native cybersecurity
  • Developments in AI — in each good and dangerous instructions
  • Sources obtainable from federal businesses to state/native governments — together with updates on cyber grants
  • White Home cybersecurity coverage implications for states and locals
  • Regional approaches to cybersecurity collaboration
  • Hearth chats (with out the precise fireplace) that mentioned state and native CISO priorities and future plans

I used to be capable of attend your entire occasion and average two classes — one on elections and one on ransomware. I discovered this occasion to be totally different than another latest cybersecurity occasions because of the many discussions that weren’t shared overtly with the press and the federal authorities involvement, together with a number of three-letter businesses (suppose NSA, CIA, FBI and DHS).

My favourite session was entitled “China in Your Digital Yard” with T.J. Sayers, director of intelligence and incident response with the Middle for Web Safety; Dave Frederick, assistant deputy director for China with the Nationwide Safety Company; and Andrew Scott, affiliate director for China operations with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company. The session was moderated by Katherine Gronberg, head of presidency companies at NightDragon.

What frankly shocked me from that session was the extent of concern from the intelligence group over present assaults which can be coming from China.

Scott mentioned, “Within the final six months, our incident response effort has confirmed that the Folks’s Republic of China cyber actors have been on our vital infrastructure networks for in some instances as much as the final 5 years.”

“They’ve the entry that they want, and if the order was given, they might disrupt some companies on this nation proper now,” he added.

“Disabling cyberattacks are placing water and wastewater programs all through the US. These assaults have the potential to disrupt the vital lifeline of unpolluted and protected ingesting water, in addition to impose vital prices on affected communities. We’re writing to explain the character of those threats and request your partnership on vital actions to safe water programs in opposition to the growing dangers from and penalties of those assaults.”   

“Hackers believed to be affiliated with the Iranian authorities carried out assaults in opposition to US water services in November that hadn’t modified the default manufacturing password on widespread operational know-how they had been utilizing. White Home nationwide safety official Anne Neuberger mentioned the incident was a name to tighten safety round utilities, with the US Treasury sanctioning six Iranian Armed Forces officers chargeable for the assaults in February.
“The letter additionally referenced threats posed by Volt Storm, a Chinese language state-sponsored group that was revealed in February to have compromised details about US ingesting water programs.”

“China in Your Digital Yard” panel dialogue.

Greater than 30 cyber leaders spoke on the cybersecurity occasion this week, together with the next state and native authorities cybersecurity leaders:

  • Vitaliy Panych, CISO, California
  • Nancy Rainosek, Chief Info Safety Officer, Texas Division of Info Sources
  • Colin Ahern, Chief Cyber Officer, New York state
  • Katie Savage, Secretary, Maryland Division of IT
  • William Zielinksi, CIO, Dallas
  • Brian Gardner, CISO, Dallas  
  • Nishant Shah, Senior Advisor for Accountable AI, Maryland
  • Josiah Raiche, Director of Synthetic Intelligence, Vermont
  • Michael Geraghty, Director, NJCCIC (New Jersey) and New Jersey CISO
  • Michael Gregg, CISO, North Dakota
  • Netta Squires, Director of Native Cybersecurity, Workplace of Safety Administration, Maryland
  • Bruce Coffing, CISO, Chicago
  • Ryan Murray, CISO, Arizona
  • Ralph Johnson, CISO, Washington state

On the federal facet, there have been additionally many cybersecurity leaders, together with Steven Hernandez, CISO of the Division of Training, who co-chairs the federal CISO council, and Drenan Dudley, deputy nationwide cyber director for technique and funds with the Workplace of the Nationwide Cyber Director.

You may see the full agenda on the occasion web site, however lots of the classes had been carried out in a format that can not be shared on this weblog resulting from confidentiality.

However, the open classes will likely be made obtainable in a number of weeks on-line, and I urge you to look at as lots of them as doable. (If you happen to can solely choose one, watch the closing session from Tuesday on the China cyber risk.)


Dan Lohrmann

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally acknowledged cybersecurity chief, technologist, keynote speaker and writer.

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*** It is a Safety Bloggers Community syndicated weblog from Lohrmann on Cybersecurity authored by Lohrmann on Cybersecurity. Learn the unique submit at: https://www.govtech.com/blogs/lohrmann-on-cybersecurity/federal-state-local-cyber-leaders-meet-to-discuss-threats


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