Recent Events

Read more about past events and reports.

Cyber as the asymmetrical warfare weapon of choice - The implications for politics, society and the economy

The WCR once again participated in FedScoop's DC Cyber Week by hosting an intimate roundtable event to discuss cyber challenges to the nation's security. This event, which was held in partnership with The Jahn Research Group, focused on how we use many modern conveniences without considering the strategic latency, threats to national security and associated cascading societal risks. During the panel discussion, attendees addressed how public and private sector collaboration can mitigate cyber vulnerabilities in industries that are key to maintaining a thriving society.

The event featured Melinda Woods, Principal Advisor for Industrial Policy,Office of the Secretary of Defense, Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, and Matthew Rose, who spoke in his capacity as an honorary national security research fellow with the Jahn Research Group but also serves as agency lead for the WhiteHouse/General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence.

View photos from the discussion here.

October 2019

Roundtable Event with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS

The Washington Cyber Roundtable was pleased to launch our 2019/2020 season with a roundtable event focused on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) restructured the National Protection and Programs Directorate to enhance its cyber and infrastructure missions.

The sold out event featured Mr. John Felker, Assistant Director, Integrated Operations, at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Attendees discussed how public and private stakeholders can collaborate to address national security challenges in the fifth domain.

View photos from the discussion.

September 2019

5G & National Security - A conversation with Adm (ret.) Blair, Former DNI and retired PACOM Commander

The Trilateral Cyber Security Commission was created in 2018 as a way to address a number of topics of common interest to the US, Japan, and countries of Europe in the cyber domain.

 

The group quickly focused on 5G security and 5G strategy as a topic that required attention and dialogue.

During the roundtable event Admiral (ret.) Dennis C. Blair, former Director of National Intelligence and PACOM Commander, and his Executive Director for this project, William "Bud" Roth, defined the 5G problem from their perspective and discussed a number of steps that the US and its allies can take to collaborate and address cyber risks to this new networking technology. The conversation also touched on how to enhance the ability of domestic vendors to compete globally in what all believe will be a critical part of the future digital economy. 

WCR was pleased to collaborate on this event with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and King & Spalding.

View photos from the discussion here.

June 2019

The Intersection of Student Debt, Financial Sector & National Security

In April 2019 WCR hosted Thomas Miles, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Michael Dean, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Officer from the Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) who discussed with attendees how FSA is modernizing its approach to protecting the nation's $4.5 trillion student loan portfolio–the largest financial portfolio in the world.  

This Office is in a unique role as a financial service entity attached to the federal government and faces both systematic economic and national security threats from cyberspace.

FSA administers $1.5 trillion in fed student loans and disperses $120 billions of dollars in loans and grants, annually to eligible college students. The processing of student aid is complex, and FSA relies on non-school partners to carry out various activities supporting the student aid process, such as loan repayment and collection. 

April 2019

WCR Roundtable Event with Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)

The Department of Defense established the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scale the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronize DoD AI activities to expand Joint Force advantages. Specifically the JAIC will:

• Rapidly deliver AI-enabled capabilities to address key missions, strengthening current military advantages and enhancing future AI research and development efforts with mission needs, operational outcomes, user feedback, and data;

 

• Establish a common foundation for scaling AI’s impact across DoD, leading strategic data acquisition and introducing unified data stores, reusable tools, frameworks and standards, and cloud and edge services;

• Facilitate AI planning, policy, governance, ethics, safety, cybersecurity, and multilateral coordination;

• Attract and cultivate a world-class AI team to supply trusted subject matter expertise on AI capability delivery and create new accelerated learning experiences in AI across DoD at all levels of professional education and training.

On March 2019 WCR held a roundtable event featuring Colonel Jeff Kojac, the Department of the Navy Lead at the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC).

Read more about JAIC here:

https://media.defense.gov/2019/Feb/12/2002088964/-1/-1/1/DOD-AI-STRATEGY-FACT-SHEET.PDF

Boundary Defense Capabilities for the Department of Defense Information Network

The program SHARKSEER delivers unique and highly effective boundary defense capabilities to the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN). The system leverages best in breed commercial technologies and threat data feeds to sense and mitigate malicious activity targeting DoDIN infrastructure. NSA designed, developed, and deployed the SHARKSEER system across all the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) managed Internet Access Points (covering 100% of the outer edge of DISA maintained DoDIN network).

During this roundtable event in January 2019, attendees discussed the program successes, challenges, data sharing opportunities, and how SHARKSEER positions itself for sustained delivery of this critical capability.

Closing the Cyber Workforce Gap in Government

WCR hosted an intimate roundtable event with Austin Cusak, Senior Talent and Innovation Officer, National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in November 2018.

 

The discussion centered around how the cyber workforce is changing and how talent development and recruitment tactics need to evolve accordingly. Attendees learned how developing employees soft skills and emotional intelligence can encourage teamwork and stimulate innovation. Also discussed was how recruitment practices should be modified to emphasize a cultural fit for the candidate.

Collaborating on Election Security

WCR hosted three amazing professionals in a candid conversation about partnerships, roles and information sharing regarding election security.
 
Colonel Sam Kinch, National Guard Advisor to the Commander, USCYBERCOM, Juan Figueroa, Chief, Election Infrastructure Sector Specific Agency from DHS, Air Force and Roisin Suver, Senior Liaison to DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Center for Internet Security Multi-State ISAC shared insights during CyberScoop's DC Cyber Week.
 
They presented distinct yet blended perspectives about securing our infrastructure to a diverse audience of Industry, academia, and government who came away with a better understanding of how the country is coming together to preserve our way of life.

A CyberScoop DC Cyber Week Event

Roundtable Event with Congressional Cyber Caucus- featuring Congressman Langevin

On September 5th WCR hosted a special roundtable lunch event with the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus featuring one of the caucus founders, Congressman Langevin (D-RI). 
This intimate roundtable event provided an overview on the role of the Cybersecurity Caucus in driving cybersecurity legislation and how Congress as a whole handles cyber policy. Attendees participated in a candid discussion with the Congressman and his staff on cyber information sharing between the private and public sectors and what obstacles hinder the process. The need to grow the cyber workforce was also a key discussion topic during the event.

Countering Threats to the Defense Community–A Roundtable Event with DITMAC

Attendees heard from Mr. Michael Seage, Director, Defense Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center (DITMAC) 
 
The conversation also addressed how DITMAC's efforts have evolved since reaching initial operational capacity over a year ago. The speakers also touched on the need for companies working with the DoD to secure classified information in accordance with Executive Order 13587 to maintain good standing with the government.
DITMAC serves as DoD’s enterprise-level capability for insider threat information integration and management. The DITMAC enables information sharing, collaboration, analysis, and risk mitigation across the DoD Components to protect the lives of DoD personnel, safeguard national security information, and secure DoD resources.
DITMAC was created in response to the Washington Navy Yard shooting of September 16, 2013. Reviews of the shooting concluded that DoD could have done more to consolidate and share information necessary for identifying potential insider threats, developing a holistic picture of risk posed by insiders, and coordinating actions to mitigate risk. The Deputy Secretary of Defense approved the Washington Navy Yard Implementation Plan, including its recommendation to establish the DITMAC to address these deficiencies. The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) then directed the Defense Security Service to establish the DITMAC to provide DoD with an enterprise-level capability for insider threat information integration and management. 

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