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Cybersecurity Thought-Leaders Converge at CyberSat Summit

By | November 6, 2018

Photo: Pixabay.

At a time when a second international Cold War is being waged over virtual assets under constant threat, cybersecurity idea-sharing has become a much more public affair. This is most likely because nearly everyone and everything on Earth has been hacked, and that hostile actors rarely use the same tricks twice. The need for cybersecurity community support has brought together an impressive line-up of speakers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Mastercard, U.S. Cyber Command, the Defense Information Systems Agency, Momentum Cyber, and the Coast Guard to share offensive and defensive network security strategies and insights with the satellite industry at the 2018 CyberSat Summit, taking place Nov. 14-16 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel.

After a day of classified workshops hosted by the U.S. military, Homeland Security, and FBI officials on Wednesday, the CyberSat Summit kicks off its public program on Thursday, Nov.15 with a presentation from U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Douglas M. Fears, deputy Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump. Admiral Fears replaced President Trump’s former Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert, who abruptly resigned in June 2018 after former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton joined the White House cabinet. “Doug Fears brings more than three decades of experience across a range of vital homeland security areas including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and disaster response, to the National Security Council (NSC),” Bolton said in a statement following his appointment.

Fears’ presentation at CyberSat Summit will provide attendees with a glimpse into how he has been managing the NSC’s Cybersecurity Directorate. The timing of the keynote couldn’t be better, as it comes the week after a U.S. midterm election that has been repeatedly targeted, and in some cases, disrupted, by foreign governments.

Another fascinating (and fitting) addition to the CyberSat Summit speaker program is Laura Brent, NATO’s Lead Cyber Defense Officer of its Emerging Security Challenges Division. NATO is an organization that literally lives on the front lines of geopolitical cyber-battles. Brent’s presentation at CyberSat will outline the latest developments on cyber defense at NATO, including the significance of the Brussels Summit, recent decisions and announcements, including the one made by Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis. Brent will look ahead to how NATO intends to make progress across the Alliance and different domains, including space and cyberspace.

CyberSat also includes keynotes representing the fast-moving and constantly adapting private sector. Momentum Cyber Chairman Dave DeWalt, a veteran Fortune 500 company advisor and board member of Delta Airlines, Five9, ForeScout, Phantom Cyber, CallSign, Claroty, Team8, DataTribe, Illusive Networks, and Optiv, will sit down for a fireside chat on Thursday afternoon to talk about how the satellite industry can go on the offensive to counter cyber threats and outline unique threats this industry faces to secure their assets on the ground and in space. CyberSat then kicks off its Friday, Nov. 16 program with a presentation titled “The Benefits of Threatcasting,” with Mastercard Senior Vice President (SVP) Jon Brickey. In his keynote, Brickey talks about how aerospace companies can benefit from what he calls “threatcasting.”

Mastercard knows that nothing is safe from persistent adversaries. Systems that were assumed for years to be secure — including e-commerce — may already be owned and awaiting commands. “Once organizations understand possible futures, they can identify gateway events that may signal them, as well as the actions they can take to possibly avoid negative futures,” Brickey said in his keynote description.

The CyberSat Summit runs from Wednesday, Nov. 14 through Friday, Nov. 16. Via Satellite will be covering these keynotes and other sessions and workshops throughout the week.