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With the number of cyber attacks growing, Congress created a new national cyber director position at the White House. The mission is to strengthen the entire country’s cyber defenses.

  • Chris Inglis, the first national cyber director, said it is essential for agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity and for the government to work with the private sector so that “if you’re a criminal in this space, you’ve got to beat all of us to beat one of us.”
  • Inglis said agencies are moving quickly but not fast enough against cyber threats and that there is a deficit in technology, awareness, skills and doctrine.
  • He said the strength of critical infrastructure protection varies by sector and said government should help the private sector determine cybersecurity standards and hold companies accountable with regulation.
  • The government should share intelligence about threats with the private sector ahead of time, although most of that information comes from the private sector, Inglis said.
  • Inglis outlined the federal government’s strategy as this: “double down on resiliency and robustness,” disrupt and pursue current actors using all legal means available, use diplomacy to work with like-minded nations, address the illicit use of cryptocurrency and ensure public-private collaboration.
  • Inglis said he supports private sector reporting requirements and that there are several bills going through Congress focused on this.
  • The responsibility of the national cyber director, Inglis explained, is to provide proactive and focused support and bring context, coherence and leverage to existing cybersecurity roles so they complement each other.
  • Inglis said his office will ultimately grow to around 80 people, that it is still waiting for appropriations and that his team has been working on “big ideas” and building relationships since it started.
  • To convince agencies to prioritize cybersecurity in their budgets, Inglis recommended defining cyber as a mission enabler.

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