TECHNOLOGY

RE: WIRED 2021: Jen Easterly wants hackers to help US cyber defense


Jane Easterly Her work cut short. As only the second director of the US government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), she must deal with a historic attack. ransomware attacks and misinformation campaigns. east It is a different kind of bureaucrat. offered a lot in black hat Cybersecurity conference in August, where she presented new political initiatives to an AC/DC-backed dance while wearing a “Britney Free” shirt and dragon-embellished jeans.

However, her playful style is not for lack of experience. A retired army officer who previously served in The National Security Agency and help Ministry of Defense establish its operations in cyberspace. She also worked as President Obama’s Special Assistant on Counterterrorism before immigrating to the banking sector, heading up cybersecurity at Morgan Stanley.

In conversation with WIRED Contributing Editor Garrett Graff at Renewable Energy: Wired Wednesday event, Easter relates to a major shift in cyber security To Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently model, where “everything is connected, everything is interconnected.” This interconnectedness is a product of our digital world. “So the attack surface has grown, and the size, variety, and speed of the data has increased exponentially.” Result: There is a file Internet attack Every 40 seconds, 1 in 10 out of 1.8 billion websites on the Internet leads you to malware. “So the big thing that has changed is that cybersecurity has become a kitchen table problem.”

At CISA, part of the Department of Homeland Security, Easterly must shift from the more offensive role she has played in the military, the National Security Agency, and the intelligence community to defense. She says her past experience has helped her understand how her opponents work and, in turn, develop a sense of empathy for them. “You have to have an aggressive empathy, to really understand how the opponent works, through the tactics, techniques and procedures they use, to be able to be the best defender you can be,” she explained.

To provide the best defense, Easterly will have to expand the size of the newest department of the US government. This is part of the reason why she turns to Black Hat and Defcon – to gain access to the private hacker community. “This is my community, man,” she said. “We want to ignite the power of hackers, researchers, and academics because the world is full of vulnerabilities at the end of the day, and I feel the attack dominates the defence. So I want to make sure that we take advantage of the brilliance and goodness of those communities to help us identify and close those vulnerabilities. So please partner with us and bring them in.”

Of all the technologies used, Easterly says the hardest part is “people and human behavior and getting people to change the way they work, implementing e-health fundamentals, through authentication, patching, and software upgrades.” It said that more than 90 percent of the vulnerabilities exploited in ransomware attacks had patches associated with them. Many of us fail at the basics of cybersecurity.

However, she is optimistic about our government’s path forward. “I am optimistic but more hopeful than ever about how we can work together, in government, as a team sport and with the private sector as trusted partners.” Through this partnership, it hopes to “create a common picture of the operating environment”, for “planning and training in peacetime so that we are ready to work together in time of war”.



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