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Public and Private Sector Experts Gather in Atlanta to Strengthen Partnerships and Address Cyber Threats

Partnerships are required across all levels of government, the private sector and internationally to share information about emerging cybersecurity threats and how to stop them, and coordinate mitigation efforts in response to cyber incidents. 

Last week, cybersecurity experts from the public and the private sector gathered in Atlanta for the eighth annual Government Forum of Incident Response and Cybersecurity Teams (GFIRST).  More than 1,600 cybersecurity professionals from various federal agencies, state and local governments, and private businesses discussed a range of cyber-related issues from cyber intelligence to social networking. Participants had the opportunity to hear from some of the biggest names in the business, including Executive Chairman of RSA Art Coviello and founder of Black Hat and DEFCON Jeff Moss.

Representatives of DHS’ United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) demonstrated both their current capabilities and future initiatives, including the development of the Advanced Malware Analysis Center, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program and Cloud Service Provider Cyber Incident Response program, which help government and private sector entities respond to cyber incidents. The event also provides DHS with the opportunity to broaden the skill set (in the company of some of our top cybersecurity minds) necessary to keep pace with the ever-changing cyber landscape.

The annual GFIRST provides a great opportunity for government and private sector leaders to convene and evaluate the evolving cyber threats we deal with on a daily basis and the necessity of a team approach to cyber incident response. Director of Research at the SANS Institute Alan Paller noted at GFIRST that as we are busy addressing and mitigating current threats, others are continuously coming to our awareness. That is why forums like GFIRST where we can share experiences and best practices are absolutely critical to building stronger partnerships.

We’re confronting some new realities in cyberspace and we need some new thinking and new energy.  Our message begins with a simple concept: to ensure cybersecurity for all of us, each of us must play our part.  We know it only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others.  I hope that this gathering and others reaffirm our collective commitment to ACT – Achieve Cybersecurity Together.

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