Cybersecurity Front and Center at Symantec’s Government Symposium

Several Dell team members, our customers and I participated in Symantec’s annual Government Symposium. The conference discussions focused on the increasing need for government and industry to understand all aspects surrounding their cybersecurity/security technology needs – from supply chain security to cybersecurity policy. One of my key takeaways was that government and industry need take an active role to be informed and aware of cybersecurity/security threats.

“Cybersecurity is a team effort and is vital to our national security and national defense strategy,” according to Howard Schmidt, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator, executive office of the president. During his morning keynote, Schmidt emphasized the need for government and industry to collaborate on security efforts. He wants identity solutions to be secure, interoperable, privacy-enhancing and voluntary. Schmidt also announced (Government Computer Week); a second draft of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace document will be available for public content on June 25. This document lays out goals and objectives to allow for laws, policies and programs to improve the trustworthiness of digital identities in cyberspace.

The need for “collaboration and education” resonated throughout the sessions. Cris Turner, Dell Government Affairs was a panelist with Symantec’s Government Affairs director and two senate committee members from Homeland Security and Gov. Affairs and, Commerce, Science and Transportation discussing future cybersecurity policy and legislation.

The panelists highlighted two pieces of legislation currently in development and the need for Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) reform. Cris highlighted the importance of having open and trusted communications for cybersecurity policy/standards development. Cris also presented the collaboration needs at the international level given the global interconnected nature of our industries.

I moderated an afternoon session on Supply Chain Assurance and protecting your critical infrastructure with panelists from the Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Health and Human Resources, Symantec and Enterprise Strategy Group. We talked about the need to change the culture among the IT community to make cybersecurity a key tenet to business operations; the need to educate computer users of their responsibilities to keep technology protected from malicious activity; and resources available like SAFEcode reports to assist with software supply chain management and security.

Our customers were pleased to see Dell’s involvement with cybersecurity policy and solutions discussions. Agencies like the IRS and ATF saw first-hand demonstrations of our purpose-built Dell INTEGRITY Secure Consolidated Client and Digital Forensics solutions. I even had the opportunity to show-off our Dell Streak for feedback on how our Federal customers will engage with our mobile solutions.

About the Author: Max Peterson