CISA and Blackhat

What do they even have in common???? This year I got to attend Blackhat virtually and on the second day there was a keynote speech by the new Director of CISA, Jen Easterly. This is a charismatic, sharp woman I can get behind any day of the week because regardless of political affiliation, she has her head on straight when it comes to the increasing threat being posed to many of our critical digital data systems. I don’t care for CNN much these days, but at least they got the story right.

Here’s what I like already- 3 weeks in to the role and who does she make her debut speech to? Not the press corp, not the Washington DC politicos. Instead, she makes her debut speech to the cybersecurity community itself in a bid to begin building bridges with the people Washington should have been engaging with all along. You want to know how to secure a threat? Ask the people at Blackhat. You want to identify threats and partner for mitigations? Well… same answer. Politicians won’t be saving us from the largest threat of the modern age, but this is one thing that I hope both the current Administration and the government agencies like CISA gain traction on. Quite frankly, our digital future and security rely on it heavily.

The end of the day had a short speech from our new Department of Homeland Security secretary. It was quite less remarkable and it’s clear that Alejandro Mayorkas is outgunned on the cyber-front, just as many of Washington’s politicos are.

Without recapping and boring an audience over what can be read in the CNN article, I will state Jen Easterly’s credentials in the cyber community stack high. I have high hopes that there will be someone who’s ready to make a difference by engaging the people who should have always been involved in US cyber policy: the cyber security community at large.

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