Cybersecurity Summit in Bucharest: Bruce Andrews lobbies for public-private partnership to fight cyber attacks

“The number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to triple between now and 2020, to over 50 billion devices.”


In his speech delivered at the Regional Cybersecurity Summit on Tuesday, the Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews said that most of the countries are facing serious cybersecurity threats, while “the IT sector is a critical partner in confronting these challenges.”

“(…) All of us are susceptible to cyber attacks. The U.S. government is concerned about protecting critical infrastructure, not only in the U.S. but also around the world and especially among our friends. But the threat isn’t limited to just critical infrastructure. Hackers steal intellectual property and trade secrets. They traffic in stolen credentials and identities. They attack systems to take revenge against perceived slights. And as the attack against Sony shows, they even seek to embarrass companies.Cyber risks are growing – and governments must work with the private sector to develop technological and policy solutions to these serious threats,” Andrews stated, explaining that the U.S. Congress is currently considering cybersecurity legislation aimed at improving information sharing and addressing data breaches.

“We will only be successful in combatting these threats by working together with the private sector. That’s why President Obama asked the Department of Commerce to convene stakeholders from across industry and the expert community – including many of the companies here with me on this trade mission – to develop a voluntary Cybersecurity Framework”, the U.S. official also pointed out.

Bruce Andrews went on saying that the final product, called the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, provides a common language for any organization to understand, manage, and express cybersecurity risk, both internally and externally.

“I am proud to say that the Cybersecurity Framework is a resounding success. Although it was originally started for critical infrastructure, it is now being used by a broad range of sectors, and by organizations of all sizes (…) The Japanese have already translated the framework to use in their country. And we’ve met with officials from China, South Korea, Australia, Europe, and others to discuss how we can make the framework approach work for them, “Andrews told the summit’s audience.

He explained that  one of the most important characteristics of the Cybersecurity Framework is that it is grounded in international standards, international guidelines, and international best practices, reiterating that  the government laws and regulations that do not reflect these standards can harm cybersecurity, impede interoperability, and hinder innovation.

“With an increasing number of cybersecurity attacks across Europe and around the world, the time is now to find the technological and policy solutions needed to protect and recover from future threat. The number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to triple between now and 2020, to over 50 billion devices. The benefits to society and our economies are potentially enormous, but this also means that number of targets for hackers is only getting larger. It is up to all of us –from across industry, academia, and government – to work together to combat cyber threats,” the U.S. official ended his speech.

On Wednesday, the opening of the Cybersecurity Innovation Center in Bucharest is scheduled in the presence of Bruce Andrews. According to the American Deputy Secretary of Commerce, the center is a public-private partnership providing staff training, testing of new technologies, simulations of cyber attacks and also brainstorming among company executives, government officials, and NGO experts. It is partially funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Fidelis Cybersecurity.


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