The Increasing Importance of Cybersecurity: The Open Group Conference in Washington, D.C.

By Jim Hietala, The Open Group

As we move through summer here in the U.S., cybersecurity continues to be top of mind, not only for security professionals, but for IT management as well as for senior managers in large organizations.

The IT security world tends to fixate on the latest breach reported or the latest vulnerability disclosed. Clearly the recent news around Stuxnet and Flame has caused a stir in the community, as professionals debate what it means to have cyberwar attacks being carried out by nations. However, there have also been other significant developments in cybersecurity that have heightened the need for better understanding of risk and security posture in large organizations.

In the U.S., the SEC recently issued guidance to public companies on disclosing the risks of cybersecurity incidents in financial reports, as well as disclosing actual breaches if there is material affect. This is a significant new development, as there’s little that directs the attention of CEO’s and Boards like new financial disclosure requirements. In publicly traded organizations that struggled to find funding to perform adequate risk management and for IT security initiatives, IT folks will have a new impetus and mandate, likely with support from the highest levels.

The upcoming Open Group conference in Washington, D.C. on July 16-20 will explore cybersecurity, with a focus on defending critical assets and securing the global supply chain. To highlight a few of the notable presentations:

  • Joel Brenner, author of America the Vulnerable, attorney, and former senior counsel at the NSA, will keynote on Monday, July 16 and will speak on “America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix.”
  • Kristen Baldwin, principal deputy, DASD, Systems Engineering, and acting cirector, Systems Analysis, will speak on “Meeting the Challenge of Cybersecurity Threats through Industry-Government Partnerships.”
  • Dr. Ron Ross, project leader, NIST, will talk to “Integrating Cyber Security Requirements into Main Stream Organizational Mission and Business Processes.”
  • Andras Szakal, VP & CTO, IBM Federal will moderate a panel that will include Daniel Reddy, EMC; Edna Conway, Cisco; and Hart Rossman, SAIC on “Mitigating Tainted & Counterfeit Products.”
  • Dazza (Daniel) J. Greenwood, JD, MIT and CIVICS.com Consultancy Services, and Thomas Hardjono, executive director of MIT Kerberos Consortium, will discuss “Meeting the Challenge of Identity and Security.”

Apart from our quarterly conferences and member meetings, The Open Group undertakes a broad set of programs aimed at addressing challenges in information security.

Our Security Forum focuses on developing standards and best practices in the areas of information security management and secure architecture. The Real Time and Embedded Systems Forum addresses high assurance systems and dependability through work focused on MILS, software assurance, and dependability engineering for open systems. Our Trusted Technology Forum addresses supply chain issues of taint and counterfeit products through the development of the Trusted Technology Provider Framework, which is a draft standard aimed at enabling commercial off the shelf ICT products to be built with integrity, and bought with confidence. Finally, The Open Group Jericho Forum continues to provide thought leadership in the area of information security, most notably in the areas of de-perimeterization, secure cloud computing and identity management.

I hope to see you at the conference. More information about the conference, including the full program can be found here: http://www.opengroup.org/dc2012

Jim Hietala, CISSP, GSEC, is the Vice President, Security for The Open Group, where he manages all IT security and risk management programs and standards activities. He participates in the SANS Analyst/Expert program and has also published numerous articles on information security, risk management, and compliance topics in publications including The ISSA Journal, Bank Accounting & Finance, Risk Factor, SC Magazine, and others.


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