From 4 October - 15 October the Perth USAsia Centre hosted Mr Benjamin Flatfard, Alliance 21 Fellow, Founder and Principal of Cycise and former Director of Cybersecurity Policy in the White House National Security Council. During this time Mr Flatgard met with a number of business, government and academic leaders to discuss various aspects of cybersecurity policy. The following takeaways are an amalgation of takeaways from the events Mr Flatgard participated in during his time in Perth, as well as an interview and podcast
with the Perth USAsia Centre.
- Indvidiuals/criminal enterprise or nation states are usually behind cybercrime. The origins of cybercrime have shifted away from 'hactivists' to now be very sophisticated criminal enterprises or nation states. Russia, Iran, China and North Korea are said to be particulary active in cybercrime.
- US Cybersecurity Policy during the Obama Administration focused on three key things: riasing the bar of federal government in cybersecurity, increasing partnership with private sector companies and cyber operations in international relations and engagement in this space.
- There are some important developments which need to occur with regards to the private sector and cybersecurity: Rules and best practives need to be established, the expectation that these rules are followed needs to be put in place and appropriate penalties need to be leveraged when those rules are broken.
- There is an opportuntiy for established nations such as the US and Australia to work with neighboring nations in the cybersecurity space. Building capacity in neighbouring nations to combat cyber security provides both an opportunity to help secure their economies and form diplomatic and democratic allies.
“At the end of the day, the people that ultimately get affected by cyberattacks are often people, individuals and just as it is difficult for individual agencies or departments within the government to combat nation states in terms of cybersecurity, imagine how difficult it is for an individual citizen to even wrap their heads around that concept. I think as we have talked about these rules and these laws and technology solutions in protecting businesses, sometimes the little guy gets left behind.”
- Mr Benjamin Flatgard, former Director of Cybersecurity Policy in the White House National Security Council
Krystal Hartig is a Research and Program Assistant at the Perth USAsia Centre.