International Threat/Cyber Intelligence Chuck Brooks on Cybersecurity: The weakest link who talks about where we stand in what many pe by Larry Karisny If you’re in the cybersecurity business, you know the name Chuck Brooks. He is an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Technology Partner Network, chairman of CompTIA’s New and Emerging Tech Committee, subject matter expert to the Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center, “passcode influencer” for The Christian Science Monitor, on the Board of Advisors for CyberTech, and on the Board of Directors at Bravatek and the Cyber Resilience Institute. Brooks also has authored numerous articles focusing on cybersecurity, homeland security and technology innovation for such publications as Forbes, Huffington Post, InformationWeek, MIT Sloan Blog, Computerworld, Federal Times, NextGov, Government Security News, Cygnus Security Media, Homeland Security Today, The Hill and Government Executive. I recently got a chance to get Brooks’ take on where we are today in what many people call the “wild, wild west” of cybersecurity. Here are his thoughts. Q. You wear many hats and certainly have been focused on cybersecurity for some time now. So tell me, who is Chuck Brooks and what is he trying to accomplish this space? A. You are right, over my career in government, corporate and academia, I have worn many hats. There have been some strong common threads [of] science, technology, national security, and legislative and executive policy in all my various roles. 32 Chuck Brooks, Cybersecurity Expert Thankfully, I selected a professional vocation of government relations and marketing that encompasses all those threads. My passion for cybersecurity issues was first established over a decade ago during the time I spent at the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate. Back then, the threats to our critical infrastructure were not as pronounced as they are today. Of course we were just beginning to experience the smartphone era. The
will always be the human element, says Chuck, ople call the “wild, wild west” of cybersecurity field of cybersecurity has evolved exponentially along with the technologies, networks and connectivity that make up the cyber ecosystem. And the ecosystem is quite diverse and expansive, comprising software, hardware, monitoring, forensics, governance and more. All these elements make it an exciting area to explore since there is always more to learn from strategy and technology perspectives. Also, it certainly blends my common career threads. For anyone’s career focus, studying cybersecurity makes [sense] since it touches everything work- or personal-related. In both the public and private sectors — just about every CIO survey — cybersecurity is the top concern. And of course, along with data analytics, cybersecurity is a annually a budget priority of federal spending. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson recently described cybersecurity and counterterrorism as the two top priorities for the protecting the homeland. What I want to accomplish in this space is to continue being a subject matter expert in cybersecurity; I enjoy writing and speaking about the varied aspects of the topic and especially in educating others on how it can impact their lives. My advisory and board director roles with organizations are a reflection of that interest. When I retire (which is a long way off), I hope to join academia again in a part-time role. I spent two years at Johns Hopkins University SAIS [School of Advanced International Studies] teaching graduate students homeland security and found it very fulfilling. Q. You have one of the most active groups in LinkedIn under the heading of the Department of Homeland Security. How has this helped both yourself and DHS in feeling the pulse of the cybersecurity industry? A. I do operate a half dozen groups that focus on homeland security and information security on LinkedIn, including a few of the largest groups: “U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS” “Information Technology (Homeland & National Security)” and “Homeland Security.” In all, these groups include about 60,000 people. Among the members are a host of well-known cybersecurity professionals who often post and comment on issues of the day. Also, 33 as any news on data breaches or cyberincidents occur, they are often posted in the LinkedIn groups. Moderating these groups certainly keeps me updated and in tune with the pulse of policy. It has also served as a great networking venue to share ideas and information with some of the best security minds around in both the private and federal sectors. Many senior-level executives in the federal government are on social sites such as LinkedIn, GovLoop, Facebook and Twitter. There are an estimated 1.5 million federal government employees who regularly use LinkedIn, including over 65,000 from DHS. Because of the growing need for public/private-sector collaboration and interface, being actively involved in social media makes a lot of sense. Q. What is Sutherland Government Relations and what do you do for the company? A. Sutherland Global Services is a global provider of business processing services, contact centers, IT service desks and management consulting serving government and U.S. leading corporations across multiple
Government Security News, founded in 2001 shortly after 9/11, is a news and feature publication covering Homeland Security and Defense. It is read by government executives in federal, state, county, municipal agencies as well as technology vendors and service personnel in Law Enforcement, Airport and Aviation Security, Border Security and Immigration, Maritime and Port Security, Disaster Preparedness and Response, Counter-Terrorism, IT and Cybersecurity and all other branches of Government and the Military. In addition to its daily, weekly and monthly publications and newsletters, Government Security News also operates two awards programs that are well-respected in the U.S. and Internationally.
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