Robert Bigman, founder of 2BSecure and former chief information security officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, and Brig. Gen. Gregory Touhill (USAF Ret.), president of Cyxtera Federal Group, discuss this year’s top cybersecurity stories, and how Europe’s privacy regulation could become a model for U.S. legislation
It was a busy year for government cybersecurity. New cyber agencies were stood up at the Energy Department and the Department of Homeland Security, and in December, the draft policy for Trusted Internet Connections was released. Robert Bigman, former chief information security officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, says that he personally thinks the year’s biggest issue was the lack of action on cyber by Congress, and their tech illiteracy. “It was a little worrisome from a technology perspective. They weren’t describing the systems that were impacted properly, I’m being kind… But what’s the alternative? That because people might not have an up-to-date understanding of how computers work, that we don’t have a discussion? That’s ridiculous,” Bigman said. “We have to have a discussion, we have to have a forum discussion, we have to take our time, which is why I hope we start this some time earlier. The Europeans went through this and they came up with reasonable legislation… there’s no reason the United States can’t have that same discussion and come out with some really good, sound legislation.” Brig. Gen. Gregory Touhill (USAF Ret.), president of Cyxtera Federal Group, says that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is a good step forward, and once American businesses are impacted by it, privacy could become more of an issue stateside. “I think we’ve already had some instances where you can say we’ve had American business that have in fact violated GDPR regulations, and I think that the real wake‑up call here in America is when you have to pay the piper. Those companies are fined and they are subject to the penalties for violating the regulation. I think that’s really going to be the tipping point,” Touhill told Government Matters.