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FCW : July 15, 2015
The decision to create the Coalition for Open Security, a nascent industry-led group that advocates greater sharing of cyberthreat information, was trig- gered by a sobering presentation by an agency CIO last October. The presentation featured “data upon data upon data of bad actors, the impact they’ve had and what we can anticipate in the future,” and it “scared everybody to death,” recalled Madeline Weiss, a private consultant and one of the coalition’s organizers. The presenter was Federal Com- munications Commission CIO David Bray, and the forum was the Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council (APC), a group of senior IT executives representing 33 private and public organizations. Bray was not there in an official capacity, but his message clearly resonated. “APC members were totally fired up” after the presentation and walked away inspired to form the coalition, Weiss said. The group is driven by a belief that business leaders are distrustful of infor- mation-sharing initiatives led by gov- ernment or even by corporate giants. A background document prepared by the coalition states that “technology Coalition for Open Security brings new voice to info-sharing debate of identified vulnerabilities in government applications get remediated 27% Trending vendors such as Facebook and Google are beginning initiatives, but organiza- tions remain wary of their motives and incentives.” Weiss, who is APC’s program direc- tor, lamented a corporate culture whose instinct is to conceal cyber vul- nerabilities. “Today, companies, when they have a breach,...bury it as quickly as they can,” she said. “Instead of shar- ing, the first thing they want to do is make sure it’s way below the radar.” The new coalition has three initial objectives: create a forum for organi- zations to identify the best tools for information sharing and cyber resil- iency, create an anonymous database of cyberattack and breach information, and support federal legislation that offers liability protections for firms that share threat information. Those goals are supported by all APC members, which include private-sector heavy- weights such as Pfizer and BP, along with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Cen- ter and the Federal Emergency Manage- ment Agency on the federal side. The coalition will first focus on sup- porting information-sharing legislation that, in one form or another, has died in Congress in recent years. The steady stream of high-profile breaches of large firms and federal agencies might help that cause, but privacy and civil liber- ties groups that say such legislation amounts to expanded government surveillance are still putting up a fight. The coalition intends to infuse the debate over information-sharing legisla- tion with a sense of urgency, and Weiss said the group is preparing an email campaign that will urge lawmakers to pass an information-sharing bill, though she said the note will not refer to the coalition specifically. The group’s goals of creating a threat database and promoting tools for shar- ing information will become easier once a bill is passed, Weiss said. However, if recent history is any indication, such legislative progress is far from assured. — Sean Lyngaas FCW CALENDAR Analytics This FCW event looks at the characteristics of an analytics-driven agency — and the technologies and strategies needed to become one. Washington, D.C . http://fcw.com/AnalyticsDrivenAgency Defense IT Washington Technology’s DOD Industry Day will explore the top 10 defense opportunities and detail the major acquisition vehicles for 2015 and beyond. Falls Church, Va. http://is.gd/WT_DOD_IT 7/29 7/23 July 15, 2015 FCW.COM 3 “Today, companies, when they have a breach,...bury it as quickly as they can.” — MADELINE WEISS, APC Data Act ACT-IAC’s half-day event will feature workshops on the Data Act’s implementation challenges and the government/industry collaboration they require. Washington, D.C . http://is.gd/FCW_data_act 7/29 0715fcw_003-010.indd 3 6/23/15 3:59 PM
June 30, 2015
July 30, 2015