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The Technology Crutch: How Will Innovative Technology Improve Our Cybersecurity Defenses?
By Jessica Stasiw
Contributor, In Homeland Security
One consistent theme throughout Cybertech Fairfax 2017, which took place on Tuesday, June 13, was the critical need for innovative technology that safeguards against cyber intrusion. However, cybersecurity experts warn that as information technology (IT) improves, human interaction will continue to be a primary point of cybersecurity vulnerability unless leaders improve workforce policies and training.
Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, kicked off the conference by addressing the state of cybersecurity and how companies and agencies need to better prepare professionals. Creating an empowered workforce and a proactive state of readiness is vastly more effective than focusing only on innovative technology that means a continuously defensive posture.
Fellow leaders, many of them hailing from private startup firms, reinforced the importance of risk management preparation. The message was that cybersecurity technology is only as effective as the workforce that’s implementing it.
Technology Enforcement May Improve Cyber Resilience
Technology is both a crutch as well as a solution for combating cyber terrorism. According to Dr. Douglas Maughn, Director of the Cyber Security Division in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), the current budget for cybersecurity is close to $100 million.
Industry leaders are constantly on the lookout for innovative technology. Maughn mentioned that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will host a Cyber Security R&D Showcase & Technical Workshop in mid-July to display all of the projects they are currently funding.
However, Dr. Maughn has concerns with tying operational technology (OT) to IT. The main focus in cyberspace continues to be within IT, when there needs to be a better counterbalance between OT and IT. This is where the move to leveraging more startups and their innovation, both in the government and private sector space, come into play.