It’s fitting that McAfee’s Public Sector Summit was held on the same day as the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander to head the Pentagon’s Cyber Command. Both events demonstrate something that McAfee has been addressing for many years: the threat of cyberattacks is a reality, and we need to take whatever steps we can to protect and secure our networks.
When I delivered the opening remarks at today’s Public Sector Summit here in the Ronal Reagan Building, I delivered my \State of the Union of Cybersecurity and discussed four facets of the cyberthreat environment:
- Threat levels are massively increasing. I’ve been saying this for three straight years. As new technologies emerge, ways to infiltrate our systems grow right along with it and we can expect to see this trend continue as we become more and more connected.
- Internet architecture changes. As we move into an increasingly global network, we’re seeing a constant change in the Internet architecture, which is creating a “perfect storm” of sorts for cyberattacks. Internet architecture coupled with the macroeconomic conditions continue to create an environment for crime.
- Critical infrastructure attacks. This is a new reality that we will face as we see the proliferation of IP?addressable devices like smartphones and mobile storage devices.
- Data protection is still of the utmost importance. To secure and protect data is not just a goal of the public sector, but the goal of our private sector customers as well and we’ve seen increased emphasis placed on this goal in the past year.
The McAfee Public Sector Summit allowed me and my colleagues another opportunity to work alongside our public sector partners and address these challenges head on. The new head of Cyber Command will surely encounter the same challenges we face and, like us, he will have to hit the ground running. Despite these challenges, I am confident that the Cybersecurity Coordinator and Cyber Command are a step in the right direction to protect our nation’s infrastructure.