Team members from Rook Security recently attended Cyber Resilience: A Cyber Security Summit, presented by the Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security. The event focused on promoting collaboration and sharing of information among government agencies and businesses.

It was an excellent way to bring together people from the public sector and the private sector to talk about emerging threats in the state of security. The event brought to attention just how disconnected communication is between the two groups. It also raised a few questions.

How can we, as professionals in the security industry, help the government?
And what should we expect in return?

One of the top security-related challenges we face in communication is that the government often needs help with solving problems but is unable to share classified information with the private sector. This is not a problem that only exists here in Indianapolis but something that exists throughout the entire country right now.

When Rook was based in Silicon Valley, California, there was a really great group called SINET that hosted summits similar to the DHS event. I remember one summit that featured General Alexander from the NSA during which we had a similar conversation. I asked the General to help his team at the NSA provide open communication to the security professionals in the Silicon Valley area in order solve a lot of these problems, but we didn’t really find a clear solution because there’s a Catch-22. How could General Alexander (and the public sector in general) feel confident sharing sensitive information with people that they don’t necessarily know or trust, but people capable of helping to solve the problem?

One of the things I liked about the DHS event was seeing the DHS, FBI, and Secret Service all working in conjunction with local business leaders to form relationships and partnerships that can build bridges to future problem-solving and job creation.

The top takeaways from this event were:

  1. We need to do a better job in central Indiana to bring together public-private partnerships and facilitate discussions where we can all learn from each other and get to know each other better.
  2. The security problems that we are all facing are widespread, well known, and well understood. However, there’s a shortage of talented individuals to be able to solve those challenges.
  3. We need to be looking forward, not backward, in identifying innovative solutions and working closely with higher education, especially programs like CERIAS at Purdue to be able to solve those problems proactively.

Resources

Below is a list of resources for small businesses that the DHS provided following the Cyber Security Summit.

Small Business Tip Card

SecurityTips_SmallBusiness

For even more information on the resources the Department of Homeland Security provides to small business owners, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-small-business-resources.


Do you have an idea for how to improve communication between talented cyber security professionals and the government bureaucracies tasked with combating cyber crime?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Rook Security was ranked 500th — the highest ranking Indiana tech company — on the 2014 Inc. magazine 500|5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. See the complete list of 21 Indiana tech companies that made the list.