In a rare public appearance, the nation’s first-ever Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, will be speaking at the Potomac Officers Club on May 5th at the Tyson’s Corner Ritz Carlton. Kundra is destined to make an impact within the industry and has already been recognized as one of the country’s top 25 CTO’s; earning the title 2008 IT Executive of the Year. Kundra is determined to prove the government has the wherewithal to not only keep stride with technological advances from the private sector, but to eventually overtake the lead.
President Obama recognized Kundra’sefforts to drive transparency and engage citizens while reducing operational cost. According to the President, Kundra brings “a depth of experience in the technology arena…[and] will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible.” This is a tall order these days, as Kundra will be part of an integral team whose goal is to oversee and safeguard the country’s IT resources from a multitude of Cyber threats, as well as the added challenges wrought by a widely dispersed set of architecture. Click here to register to hear Vivek Kundra speak!
Cyber Espionage Network Gains Ground
This past week we learned about “GhostNet”, a spy network with links to web locations in China. GhostNet is using phishing emails as well as malicious websites to infiltrate international organizations. The network came more into focus this week when news broke out that the Dalai Lama was targeted. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Dalai Lama is far from being alone, as the spy network counts numerous, sensitive government computers across 103 countries as victims. Foreign embassies and ministries and even NATO have all come under successful attack.
The sophisticated methods employed by these hackers are indicative of a continuing trend in cyber espionage; one that is continually highlighted by noteworthy thought leaders such as Melissa Hathaway, who was chosen to lead President Obama’s Cyber Security Review. According to Hathaway, “When it comes to cyber security, government and the private sector need to recognize that an individual vulnerability is a common weakness.”
According to Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, two University of Toronto researchers who spent ten months tracking GhostNet, there is real cause for concern. “These organizations are almost certainly oblivious to the compromised situation in which they find themselves. The computers of diplomats, military attachés, private assistants, secretaries to prime ministers, journalists and others are under the concealed control of unknown assailant(s).” Click here to read their eye-opening report.
Names to Know in Cyber
ExecutiveBiz has been busy this week lining up interviews with key players in Cyber Security. Be sure to read Bob Gourley- interview, William “Bill” Crowell – interview, Amit Yoran-interview and Rob Housman-interview .