As we close our last two dialogues of 2015 for S&T’s National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology, I want to share a quote from a participant:
“A forum like this is critical in bringing knowledge, potential partners, organizations, and local communities to start the [networking] process.”
This captures the spirit and driving force behind starting these conversations, and we look to carry this momentum into 2016. The two 2015 dialogues we recently wrapped up, A Trusted Cyber Future and Resilient Communities, brought highly-engaged participants who shared new ideas, tools, and recommendations. Their insights have been invaluable as S&T looks at future research and development (R&D) investments and priorities in these areas.
The cybersecurity conversation facilitated feedback for the February 2016 Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan. One of the most compelling issues discussed was the human component of addressing cybersecurity. Many cybersecurity areas require some sort of human facet – social, behavioral, and economic disciplines. An estimated 80-90 percent of current cybersecurity failures are due to human error. Currently, research is being conducted in this area; however we still need to identify more methods to train, incentivize, and encourage improved cybersecurity behavior.
Participants around the country also focused on issues including designed-in security, securing the Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity education and training. S&T is reviewing the following R&D priorities posed during the conversation.
- Systems-based view of cybersecurity and resilience
- Balancing applied research and technology transition
- R&D certifications for transitioning government products
- Increase actuarial data on economic incentives and research related to cyber economics and human behavior
- Provide cybersecurity resources to small businesses
- Privacy requirements with simplified metrics for software developers
- Education and training on the design of secure software
- Increase R&D partnerships with academia
The Resilient Communities dialogue focused on issues related to designing, building, and maintaining future critical infrastructure to withstand naturally-occurring and manmade disasters so communities can not only bounce back from disaster, but bounce forward. We saw the most interaction on the topics below.
- Defining and measuring resilience through risk reduction and addressing socioeconomic factors
- Existing community resilience programs and projects
- Tradeoffs to publicizing local and state emergency plans to improve infrastructure investments
- The value of increased networking with international partners
- Easily accessible resilience tools and best practices
What will the National Conversation bring to the table this year? Stay tuned for more information on our first 2016 dialogue: Flood Resilience, which will be launched this spring. Additionally, we look forward to tackling the myriad issues involved in IoT, from tools and technology to usage and security. We are already looking forward to hearing your thoughts!