Protect Your Enterprise with Secure and Resilient Information Flow


Good morning,

I want to thank Aviation Week for organizing this event.  The theme of this Forum is “Protect Your Enterprise with Secure and Resilient Information Flow.“  This is certainly a timely and important subject.  I know a number of the outstanding people on the program today, and I am sure that this will be a very successful forum for the exchange of information about protecting your enterprises from cyber threats.

Any keynote speaker wonders how to start his presentation.  I give talks all over the world, and I have always been impressed with the cultural differences in giving speeches.  For example, in the US it is customary begin a speech with a joke.  In Japan, it is customary to begin a speech with an apology.  Cybersecurity is not a subject for which I have been successful in thinking of jokes.  However, since cybersecurity is a global issue, it is reasonable to combine these perspectives.  Therefore, I am going to begin this speech by apologizing for not telling a joke.

There are a few key points that I would like you to get from this presentation.  First, enterprise systems and services are increasing very rapidly in size, geographic distribution, functionality, and most notably in value.  In this presentation, I will use the term “enterprise“ broadly to include corporations, government agencies, universities, and any other significant information-intensive organization.  I will also include both IT networks as well as infrastructure networks like power grids and oil pipelines in talking about these examples.  There are very significant differences between IT networks and infrastructure networks, but they have in common both significant value and vulnerability to cyber attacks.  The designs of many of these newer enterprise systems contain new architectures, standards, and products for good business reasons ““ increasing business value, improved service, functionality, reliability, etc.  However, those new developments also make them increasingly valuable targets.

Second, these cybersecurity threats are increasing rapidly in sophistication, breadth, and speed.  Those of us who have been in this business for a large number of years have seen the incidents go from defaced websites to theft of large volumes of intellectual property and money, military actions, and so forth.  Notable among these threats is the “Advanced Persistent Threat.“  In the cybersecurity context, this phrase refers to the systematic cyber targeting of significant government and industry organizations in order to obtain sensitive information in many areas such as advanced R&D, financial services, critical infrastructure, national security, and others.  I will discuss these threats further in this presentation.

Third, cybersecurity is a very difficult subject for several reasons.  We will discuss some of the important reasons for this and the implications that lead to the conclusion that the cyber protection of a large enterprise requires a multidimensional strategy.  At Northrop Grumman, our approach includes a multi-layer architecture, including documented policies and processes, a well-trained cybersecurity staff, integrated technology suites, specialized facilities, advanced research, education and training, and professional activity leadership.  I will discuss our approach to cybersecurity operations further later in this presentation.

Finally, protecting the large enterprise cannot be accomplished simply with short-term fixes like changing passwords and patching systems more quickly, although those steps do help somewhat.  Today's cyber threats are far too sophisticated.  Moreover, they are increasing rapidly in number and in capability.  Cybersecurity is a long-term issue and requires a strategic approach for the enterprise.

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