#InfosecurityEurope2022 Cooperation Necessary to Strengthen Cyber Strategies

The opening day of the Infosecurity Europe 2022 conference saw a keynote panel discuss the need to cooperate on a  national and global scale to strengthen long-term cyber strategies.

Moderated by James McKinlay, CISO of Affinitas Global, panelists included Nitin Natarajan, deputy director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Pete Cooper, deputy director of Cyber Defence in the Cabinet Ofice looking over the Government Cyber Security Strategy.

The discussion began with the question of building leadership resilience, with the panel emphasizing the need for strengthening trust and engagement. Moderator McKinlay furthered this point, remarking that when personnel within companies and organizations change, it’s important to re-establish relationships. The need for company-specific cyber plans was also highlighted, with businesses encouraged to conduct threat-modeling to strengthen leadership resilience and business agility.

Cooper added that leadership resilience relies on the company having shared cybersecurity goals, stressing that “you can’t have organizational resilience with a company that’s pulling in different directions.”

The panel then addressed the optimal ways governments can effectively collaborate with the private sector, with Cooper stressing that you first must establish what you’re collaborating on and agree on commonalities and shared aims. Nitin Natarajan stressed the need for government agencies to convey to the private sector the value and ‘return on investment’ of collaboration, as this would further incentivize information collection from private industry.

The panel’s next focus was on ransomware attacks and how best to encourage organizations to report data breaches, with Nitin Natarajan believing that there’s value in sharing the experience and frequency of ransomware attacks, though in a more generalized way. This general approach means that the scale of the issue can be quantified and underlined while retaining some confidentiality for the companies who fall victim to such attacks, mitigating any potential negative impacts on a business’s reputation.

The final question asked by McKinlay concerned the panel’s thoughts on the role of international collaboration and intelligence sharing in the fight against cybercrime. Cooper expressed the need for more collaboration and sharing, though caveating this with the fact that it takes time and trust to do this successfully. Nitin Natarajan said that our adversaries know we’re stronger and more effective when working together, so greater collaboration is paramount in forcing bad actors to adopt a more defensive posture.

The panel closed with some concluding remarks, with Cooper highlighting the need for the cybersecurity sector to recruit a diverse range of people, as this helps to foster different perspectives and the ability to spot both opportunities and challenges, bolstering a business’s agility and resilience. Nitin Natarajan reemphasized the fact that cybersecurity is a collective responsibility and an area that every one of us has a role to play in that goes beyond agencies, government and private industry. McKinlay ended the session by mentioning the UK's National Cyber Security Centre's (NCSC’s) website, stressing that it’s a world-renowned source of top-quality information for strengthening cyber-hygiene.

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