In bonus episode 106, Stewart and Alan interview Phil Reitinger, former DHS Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Sony Corporation CISO and current Director of the new Global Cyber Alliance, making up for the famous “lost episode” that Stewart and Alan recorded with Phil on the sidelines of the RSA Conference (“The best interview I ever conducted,” according to Phil).
Stewart first asks Phil about his old organization, DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). Phil waxes eloquent about the triumphs and travails of NPPD, and also wonders what the impact on NPPD will be from President Obama’s recent creation of a Federal Chief Information Security Officer in the Executive Office of the President (Alan wonders—less eloquently—about that too). Phil also notes that “we are all medieval barbers” when it comes to knowing how to treat today’s cybersecurity ills (“We know where to put the leeches, but that’s about it,” says Phil).
We then get to the meat of the interview. Alan asks Phil all about the new Global Cyber Alliance, launched in partnership with the Center for Internet Security, the New York County District Attorney’s Office (and its asset forfeiture funds), and the City of London Police Department. Phil explains that the Alliance will not follow the example of other organizations that are long on talk and short on action, and instead will gather subject matter experts to focus specific things, using the mantra of “Do Something. Measure It.” The Alliance will look in particular for issues where the global cyber community has an answer to a problem, but is struggling with implementation; the Alliance will provide the project management backbone to allow ad hoc groups of subject matter experts to drive towards implementation of the solution. Ultimately, the Alliance wants to move from addressing specific risks to measuring and mitigating systemic cybersecurity risk—for example, the global risk of DDOS attacks— but the Alliance has no intention of leaving discrete problems unsolved while it searches for ways to address systemic problems. Phil also explains that despite its founding partners, the Alliance will not be solely focused on cybercrime or prosecution issues, but rather will be focused on prevention.
Finally, Stewart and Phil talk about the FTC and FOIA, noting that Steptoe represented Phil in a FOIA action against the FTC to get it to disclose exactly what standards it is holding business to regarding cybersecurity and data privacy. Phil colorfully explains the different ways in which the FTC told him to “pound sand,” and also throws around fancy legal terms like the “non-delegation doctrine."
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