Late last month, the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security released a multi-agency report on enhancing U.S. resilience to botnets and distributed attacks. The report was the product of a year-long effort of unprecedented coordination among federal agencies, in response to an Executive Order from President Trump, to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity.
USTelecom hosted our 11th Cybersecurity Policy Forum in response, to learn more about the inter-agency coordination and the strategies involved in the next steps. We were joined by Evelyn Remaley, Deputy Associate Administrator, NTIA; Helen Jackson, Branch Chief for Partnerships and Engagement, Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, DHS; Chris Boyer, AVP, Global Cybersecurity Policy, AT&T; Tim Polk, Computer Scientist, NIST; and Eric Wenger, Director for Government Affairs, CISCO.
CEO Jonathan Spalter kicked off the conversation with a few points on the state of U.S. cybersecurity, noting that:
- The botnet threat is more severe today than at any previous point in the internet’s history.
- Cyber criminals have created increasingly large networks of bot-infected computers which today are being used to launch cyberattacks worldwide, draining billions of dollars from the digital economy (which represents one-third of U.S. GDP).
- The Internet of Things, which introduced billions of new internet-enabled devices to the world, has also created billions of new entry points for cybercriminals to exploit.
So there is a lot at stake when it comes to the long-term health of the digital economy, our national security and the safety of the underlying internet ecosystem. A collaborative and united front signals to our enemies that the U.S. anti-botnet and anti-cybercriminal effort is strong.
Our members were among the earliest adopters of voluntary best practices to secure the internet ecosystem from botnets. And we are expanding our reach to global partners across multiple industries to maintain this momentum.
Through our work with the Information Technology Industry Council, in forming the Council to Secure the Digital Economy (CSDE), we are developing a global guide to anti-botnet practices informed by analysis of rapidly evolving global threats, ecosystem-wide vulnerabilities, and increasingly capable and determined adversaries.
And with efforts from our expert panelists, I’m confident that we are at an inflection point in the war against cyber-criminals. I encourage you to watch the entire archived panel discussion here.