Cyber security took the hot seat at the fifth annual Privacy XChange Forum, where industry leaders gather to set the privacy agenda for the year.
More than 150 delegates came together in Lake Las Vegas to participate in sessions with some of the most influential global experts on cyber crime, including:
- Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- Malcolm Nance, intelligence expert and author of The Plot to Hack America
- Bruce Schneier, cyber security expert and author of Data and Goliath, and
- John Krebs, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission’s division of privacy and identity protection.
One of the key themes was the need for collaboration between public and private entities. Bharara outlined the cyber threats businesses face today—a challenge that cannot be solved by businesses alone.
“Today, it takes public-private cooperation to solve security issues. Businesses and law enforcement must collaborate,” Bharara said.
He added that businesses won’t do more than necessary to ensure security if it costs too much—until they have a PR fiasco. The ultimate responsibility lies with the chief executive, he said, citing recent high-profile departures by CEOs after major data breaches such as Equifax.
Wired writer Garrett Graff echoed the same theme in his session on the takedown of a well-organized international criminal network that used variants of the Zeus virus to steal on a global scale. The initial investigator, FBI agent James Craig, joined Graff on stage. Ultimately, a team of dozens of experts were assembled to attack the GameOver network, communicating with more than 70 internet service providers and a dozen other law enforcement agencies from Canada to the United Kingdom to Japan to Italy—in a cyber cat-and-mouse game that successfully shut down the network.
In his keynote, Malcolm Nance talked about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the subject of his recently published book, The Plot to Hack America.
“I’m not going to get into the issue of were we hacked, were the vote tallies hacked,” Nance said. “I was on television every day, from July 25th last year right up to Election Day telling you we were hacked. If you don’t believe we are at risk, you probably shouldn’t be here.”
Nance shared his research on Russian interference in the election, adding that Americans were unwitting participants in the plot through our consumption of social media newsfeeds.
“I am amazed by the passion, intelligence and energy that our customers and partners bring to PxF every year," said Matt Cullina, CyberScout’s CEO. “It’s an inspiring exchange of best practices and solutions for current cyber security threats.”