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White House cyber team discusses national strategy at IWP

White House cyber team discusses national strategy at IWP

Photo above (left to right): Frank Marlo (Dean of Academic Affairs at IWP), Jaisha Wary (Director for International Cyber Policy at the National Security Council), Kevin Reifsteck (Director for Cybersecurity at the National Security Council), Sean Plankey (Director for Cyber Policy at the National Security Council), and Dean Lane (Senior Vice President for Cyber Intelligence at IWP).

On Friday, September 20, 2019, The Institute of World Politics (IWP) Cyber Intelligence Initiative (Ci2) hosted its fourth semi-annual Cyber Embassy Night (CEN). This series brings a growing community of senior diplomats, academics, and government officials together to discuss cyber diplomacy, international affairs, and intelligence issues. This CEN featured three members of the White House National Security Council (NSC) discussing the year of progress since the publishing of the National Cyber Strategy.

The event opened with remarks by Dean Lane (IWP Senior Vice President for Cyber Intelligence) and Joe Billingsley (Ci2 Advisor). Mr. Lane opened the event by providing background on the Institute and Ci2. Mr. Billingsley followed by summarizing the CEN purpose, listing the many nations and organizations represented, and welcoming the speakers. The NSC panelists were Jaisha Wary (Director for International Cyber Policy), Kevin Reifsteck (Director for Cybersecurity), and Sean Plankey (Director for Cyber Policy).

Mr. Reifsteck began by describing the four pillars of the National Security Strategy: (1) protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life; (2) promote American prosperity; (3) preserve peace through strength; and (4) advance American influence.

The panelists discussed different areas of progress associated with each of the pillars, such as legislation like the Strengthening and Enhancing Cyber-capabilities by Utilizing Risk Exposure (SECURE) Technology Act, executive branch wide initiatives like the President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition, and the Executive Order on America’s Cybersecurity Workforce.

Ms. Wary and Mr. Plankey discussed challenges and progress on policy where cybersecurity intersects with other domains such as space and the sea. The role of the private sector and international partners was prominent in the discussion. Following a question and answer session with the audience, participants attended a networking reception hosted by IWP.

Participants included leaders and experts from numerous allied nations, heads of academic institutions like the National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace, and nonprofit organizations like the Military Cyber Professionals Association, Cyber Security Forum Initiative, and Atlantic Council.

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