IT security experts, tech leaders, government agencies and other industry notables will be making their way to Stanford University tomorrow for the White House Summit of Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. The President first mentioned cybersecurity in May 2009 during a White House Rose Garden speech when he referred to it as ”the greatest national security threat since the Cuban missile crisis”. Yet, since then there has been a deafening silence.
Over the past six years, the cyber landscape has changed significantly, and there has been an awakening in corporate America. Corporations, government organizations and the general public have come to understand the destructive nature of cyberattacks through massive breaches such as Sony Pictures and Target, just to name a few.
Beyond these high profile incidents impacting household brand names, the overall cost to the economy is steep as well. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in 2014 was $3.5 million, 15 percent higher than the previous year. Globally, cybercrime is costing businesses $375-$575 billion annually and a net loss of up to 200,000 jobs in the U.S. alone.
Although long overdue, this summit is historical in the sense that it demonstrates the concerted efforts of the public and private sector working in partnership and an overarching willingness to address the greatest national economic threat the U.S. has ever faced. Attendees realize the U.S. is currently behind the eight ball when it comes to our country’s cybersecurity defenses as well as its international and domestic cyber stance.
Founded in 1989, and incorporated in the United States, Trend Micro has long been at the forefront of combatting cybercrime. CEO and Co-founder, Eva Chen, will be among those attending the summit tomorrow in hopes of further collaboration and partnerships that will lead to creative and innovative strategies and tactics to thwart this global cyber pandemic. After graduating with a master’s degrees in management information systems and business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas, Chen is keenly aware of the importance of this bipartisan event to protect our nation’s virtual borders.
What has been suggested in the executive order to encourage information sharing between the public and private sectors will create, what I’d like to refer to as, an American “neighborhood watch system.” This type of joint criminal surveillance will greatly impact the visibility and efforts Americans have in the fight against cybercrime to “virtually” take back their streets.
It’s my hope that the White House summit will elevate the urgency and importance of cybersecurity, so it will be considered a patriotic duty rather than a political issue. This must be a priority for our nation as a whole, and we should respond with fervor by investing in more resources and expertise for the common good.