DHS Secretary Issues Warning to Nation-State Cyber-Attackers

Today’s topics include DHS Secretary Nielsen prioritizing the United States’ response to nation-state cyber-attacks, and RSA Security’s president detailing cyber-security silver linings.

During her keynote address on April 17 at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen asserted that cyber-security isn't just a concern for individuals and enterprises—it is a national imperative—and stressed that in the modern world, digital security has converged with public security.

Nielsen stated that nation-state threat actors, including North Korea and Russia, are more sophisticated and sinister than ever before, and are indifferent to collateral damage as noted by the widespread impact the NotPetya and WannaCry attacks had. She said, "They think they can get away with it and they have. The consequences have been limited."

Nielsen said the DHS will release a formal strategy detailing how it will respond to systemic risks from nation-states and others with the potential to have broad impact on the U.S.

Also speaking at the RSA Conference, RSA Security President Rohit Ghai on April 16 detailed cyber-security silver linings.

One such silver lining is that the notion of the so-called "silver bullet" is now gone. In his keynote address, Ghai said, "In cyber-security we are not lusting after the latest shiny gizmos. We are taking a business-driven security approach to managing digital risk.”

Another silver lining is the effectiveness of defensive teams in anticipating threats.

Ghai also highlighted government actions and policies, including the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, as helping to put data management and privacy front and center globally. Finally, Ghai said business stakeholders are more engaged than ever before, with cyber-security a board-level agenda item.