RSA 2016: Feds preach cooperation needed to fight cybercrime

Better cooperation betwen the public and government can help speed response time during a cyberattack.
Better cooperation betwen the public and government can help speed response time during a cyberattack.

Building bridges between the private sector and government to combat cybercrime was the theme pushed by a panel of FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency agents at RSA 2016 today.

During the session entitled One Team, One Fight the government representatives explained their agencies role in fighting cybercriminals, and emphasized the need for the private sector to work together with federal forces. This was met with some skepticism from the audience with one person asking how the government can be trusted when it is incapable of protecting its own data.

Ryan Agee, technical director, threat operations center for the NSA, said that while he understands that issue importance he said the government does its best to protect data in its charge.

Eric Sporre, deputy assistant director of the FBI's cyber division, said FBI Director James Comey has made it a directive for FBI field offices to develop relationships with local businesses, adding it is also a good idea for locals to reach out to the FBI.

Having a relationship in place before a cyberattack happens will enable law enforcement to react faster, Sporre said.

The panelists also gave a quick overview of how the various federal law, intelligence and security agencies work together in order to protect the country from a cyberattack. While each agency generally looks at cyber security from a different angle, enforcement, prevention, etc. each communicates 24/7 with the other enabling a government to respond quickly as a single unit, said Dr. Phyllis Schneck, deputy secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the DHS.

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