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Richard Spires, CEO of Learning Tree International, discusses using challenges to work through major cybersecurity issues, and how the government could become a spearhead for the practice.  

The government is steadily adopting a model from the private sector to work through cybersecurity challenges. The “grand challenge” brings in tech talent to examine issues, and rewards those that find solutions. Richard Spires, CEO of Learning Tree International says that it’s a fast, relatively cheap way to build up secure infrastructure.


“I think it’s a model that works, and it’s been shown to work. You don’t put out a solution, you put out the challenge. ‘What are we trying to achieve?’ and then you open it up to the world. And think that is what is interesting about it… We know who we know. We know the organizations that we work with. But there are organizations and individuals out there that may have very interesting new approaches on you can solve some of these major cybersecurity challenges,” Spires said. “For actually relatively modest costs, the U.S government for instance could really help champion this. Not that they have to underwrite it all. I think that if they put out challenges, they could get a lot of organizations that care dearly about this as a societal and a worldwide problem, to be part of a set of grand challenges.”

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