White House Cybersecurity Director Calls on Business to Help Safeguard Critical Infrastructure

White House Director Samara N. Moore Joins Telecom and Energy Leaders for NYU School of Engineering/Sloan Lecture

On the heels of the Obama Administration’s release of guidelines to protect the nation’s essential infrastructure from cyber attacks, White House Director for Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection Samara N. Moore will headline an open discussion at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering about the implications for businesses in key industries. The event will be held on Monday morning, March 10, 2014.

“Reducing Cyber Risk: White House Insights on Obama’s Critical Infrastructure” will be the first public forum in the greater New York area on the newly issued Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, a series of best practices aimed at boosting the security of all businesses in critical infrastructure-related industries, including energy, transportation, telecommunications, healthcare, water, finance, oil, gas, chemicals, manufacturing, and others.

Moore will be joined by Administration and energy and telecommunications experts. She and the panelists will answer questions about how U.S. businesses can implement the guidelines. Recent high-profile security breaches—including the Target attack, in which a vendor’s credentials may have been used to access the retailer’s system—have highlighted the need for vigilance.

Panelists include Bob Kolasky, director of strategy and policy, Office of Infrastructure Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Jon Boyens, senior advisor-information security, Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce; Manny Cancel, vice president-information resources, ConEdison; and Chris Boyer, assistant vice president-global public policy, AT&T Services Inc. The panel will be moderated by Michael Coden, vice president, NextNine, a cybersecurity expert who participated in the development of the Cybersecurity Framework and helped to arrange the speaker and panelists.

“Reducing Cyber Risk: White House Insights on Obama’s Critical Infrastructure” is the fourth in a series of open lectures on cybersecurity and privacy sponsored by the NYU School of Engineering in alliance with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The lecture is free and open to the public, but attendance is limited and requires registration.

One year ago, President Obama issued an executive order calling for increased action to protect vital infrastructure from potentially crippling attacks by cyber criminals. On February 12, 2014, NIST issued the Cybersecurity Framework to guide businesses in aligning their security strategies with best practices.

That same day, the President issued a statement on the Cybersecurity Framework, which read in part: “I was pleased to receive the Cybersecurity Framework, which reflects the good work of hundreds of companies, multiple federal agencies, and contributors from around the world. This voluntary Framework is a great example of how the private sector and government can, and should, work together to meet this shared challenge.”

“The newly released Cybersecurity Framework represents a turning point in the cybersecurity discussion because it is rooted in a business approach to managing cyber risks and can be used by industries and businesses of all sizes,” Moore said.  “It provides a common lexicon that enables CEOs, boards of directors, business managers, and operations professionals to communicate and align the organization’s efforts to managing cyber risks.”

NYU School of Engineering Dean Katepalli Sreenivasan will offer opening remarks at the lecture. “We are honored to host one of the first public forums explaining this comprehensive national effort to unite businesses against cyber crime,” said Sreenivasan. “Today’s information security technologies are constantly improving through the efforts of researchers here at NYU School of Engineering and around the world, but cyber criminals are working just as quickly. The importance of adopting the most current security measures and bolstering our cyber defenses cannot be understated.”

The lecture will be delivered on Monday, March 10, 2014, at the NYU School of Engineering in downtown Brooklyn. It will also be streamed live at engineering.nyu.edu/live beginning at 9 a.m. Panelists will take questions from the audience and online attendees; to submit a question during the discussion, email to cyberlectureseries@poly.edu or @cyberlecture on Twitter. For more information on the lecture series, visit engineering.nyu.edu/sloanseries.

The NYU School of Engineering is an internationally recognized center for cybersecurity research, education and policy. It is a National Security Agency Center of Excellence in Information Assurance and a Center of Excellence in Research.  The School of Engineering has joined with other NYU schools to form the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP). The consortium researches new approaches to security and privacy by combining security technology, psychology, law, public policy, and business. NYU-ePoly, the school’s online learning unit, delivers 20 online graduate programs worldwide, including the virtual cybersecurity program, named the nation’s best online program by the Sloan Consortium in 2011.

The NYU School of Engineering/Sloan lecture will place special focus on the energy and telecommunications sectors, two areas in which the school conducts pioneering research. The campus is home to two major centers advancing wireless communications and networking: the Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT), an industry-university partnership to advance wireless technologies, and NYU WIRELESS, the first academic research center combining wireless, computing, and medical applications.  Recently, the university was named a partner in the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority’s PowerBridgeNY project, and will soon be the site of a proof-of-concept center dedicated to commercializing clean-energy technologies called the Urban Future Lab.

The NYU School of Engineering/Sloan Lecture Series is funded by the Sloan Foundation’s Civic Initiatives program, which supports unique opportunities to benefit the New York City metropolitan area. The foundation supports original research and educational initiatives related to science, technology, and economic performance.

“Reducing Cyber Risk: White House Insights on Obama’s Critical Infrastructure” is sponsored by NextNine Industrial Strength Cyber Security, Rockwell Automation, Dell Computer, Sourcefire, Aerohive Networks, IEEE, the International Society of Automation (ISA), ISACA New York Metropolitan Chapter, and International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 New York Metro Chapter.