Cybersecurity News that Matters

Cybersecurity News that Matters

US officials join RSAC to highlight cyber strength against threats

Antony Blinken is speaking at the RSA Conference on May 6. Source: RSAC 2024

by Dain Oh

May. 09, 2024
12:33 AM GMT+9

San Francisco ― The RSA Conference ― High-level officials of the United States responsible for national cybersecurity strategies took the stage at the RSA Conference, coinciding with two major announcements from the government.

The speakers included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who delivered the opening keynote on the first day, and National Cyber Director Harry Coker from the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) at the White House, who spoke for approximately 50 minutes about a new report published by the White House the following day. In their speeches, both officials emphasized their confidence in countering cyber threats, shifting the focus away from the risks and challenges currently facing the government.

This optimistic approach to securing cyberspace was also prominent in other sessions attended by U.S. government officials. Notably, Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and her predecessor, Chris Krebs, who was the first director of CISA, participated as panelists in a separate keynote session, titled “A World On Fire: Playing Defense in a Digitized World and Winning.”

Antony Blinken is delivering his keynote speech at the RSA Conference on May 6 regarding the International Cyberspace and Digital Policy Strategy, announced by the U.S. government this day. Source: RSAC 2024

On May 6, the U.S. government published the International Cyberspace and Digital Policy Strategy: Towards an Innovative, Secure, and Rights-Respecting Digital Future. This document is designed to support the National Security Strategy and National Cybersecurity Strategy. Concurrently, at the RSA Conference, Secretary Blinken elaborated on the concept of “digital solidarity,” a recurring theme that runs throughout the document, and described cyberspace as one of the key technological domains for the U.S. government to focus their attention and resources on fully securing.

According to the State Department, digital solidarity is a “willingness to work together on shared goals, to stand together, to help partners build capacity, and to provide mutual support.” It further elaborates that “the concept of digital solidarity rests on efforts to build digital and cyber capacity so that partners are not only better able to build a defensible and resilient digital ecosystem over the long term but are also able to respond and recover quickly when incidents happen, as well as hold criminal and malign actors accountable.”

Secretary Blinken stated, “We are in a pivotal period of international relations, marked by intense competition between nations, and shared global challenges such as climate change, food and health security, and inclusive economic growth. Technology will play an increasingly critical role in addressing these challenges. The United States is committed to collaborating with any country or entity that aims to develop and deploy technology that is open, safe, and secure, promotes inclusive growth, fosters resilient and democratic societies, and empowers all people.”

The strategy lays out three guiding principles and four areas of action:

Three guiding principles:

  1. An affirmative vision for a secure and inclusive cyberspace grounded in international law, including international human rights law; and
  2. Integration of cybersecurity, sustainable development, and technological innovation; and
  3. A comprehensive policy approach that utilizes the appropriate tools of diplomacy and international statecraft across the entire digital ecosystem.

Four areas of action:

  1. Promote, build, and maintain an open, inclusive, secure, and resilient digital ecosystem;
  2. Align rights-respecting approaches to digital and data governance with international partners;
  3. Advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace, and counter threats to cyberspace and critical infrastructure by building coalitions and engaging partners; and
  4. Strengthen and build international partner digital and cyber capacity, including capacity to combat cybercrime.
Susan Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), left, and Harry Coker, National Cyber Director from the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) at the White House, are speaking at the RSA Conference on May 7, regarding the 2024 Report on the Cybersecurity Posture of the United States which was published by the White House on the same day. Source: RSAC 2024
Harry Coker, National Cyber Director from the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) at the White House. Source: The White House

On Tuesday, National Cyber Director Harry Coker sat down with Susan Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI), to discuss key elements of the 2024 Report on the Cybersecurity Posture of the United States, which the White House had released that day.

The White House described the document as a “first-of-its-kind report” that provides updates on how the nation is addressing challenges in cyberspace. “Over the past year, the U.S. national cybersecurity posture has improved, driven by steady progress towards the 2023 National Cybersecurity Strategy’s (NCS) vision of a defensible, resilient, and values-aligned digital ecosystem,” the White House stated in its announcement.

On stage, Coker noted, “One of the brilliant moves my predecessors made was to frame this national cybersecurity strategy as America’s document, not just owned by ONCD, but by engaging across the federal cybersecurity ecosystem, including the public and private sectors. This approach gathered the best ideas to incorporate into America’s national cybersecurity strategy.”

The director emphasized, “As you well know, strategies can be well-written but are not truly meaningful unless there is a corresponding implementation plan.”

The director concluded his speech by saying, “We are very comfortable with the national cybersecurity strategy and implementation plans, as well as the strategies issued by the State Department and other mission partners. These documents establish the framework of what we need to do to secure cyberspace.”


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  • Dain Oh
    : Author

    Dain Oh is a distinguished journalist based in South Korea, recognized for her exceptional contributions to the field. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Readable, she has demonstrated her expe...

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