Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will form a cybersecurity team for President-elect Donald Trump, the Trump transition team said Thursday.
Although the roles of the former prosecutor and the new team were not clearly defined, Giuliani “will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cybersecurity problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector,” according to a statement from the Trump camp.
Giuliani and Trump are long-time friends and the former prosecutor was an outspoken, even fiery, surrogate for the real estate developer on the campaign trail. Giuliani won New York’s favor for his steady hand in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.
In the 15 years since, he opened a consulting practice, Giuliani Partners, dabbled in investment banking and even took a shot at a White House run in 2008. While Trump has expressed skepticism about the security of technology, recently saying “if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way,” the transition team noted that technology “has moved forward at unparalleled speed” while “the necessary defenses have lagged behind.”
Trump, the statement said, “recognizes that this needs immediate attention and input from private sector leaders to help the government plan to make us more secure.”
The private sector has long been viewed by the Obama administration as critical to building a strong cyberdefense, thwarting cyberattacks, such as the alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, and hacks at corporate giants like Sony.
Lisa Monaco, Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, reiterated to members of the Council on Foreign Relations and the press Tuesday that “the private sector is a critical actor” to understanding cybersecurity and determining attribution.
While Giuliani ‘is right in thinking there are a lot of solutions to cybersecurity issues already,” Richard Steinnon, chief strategy officer of Blancco Technology Group, said in comments emailed to SC Media that “the answer is not better sharing – the answer is to use the technology available.”
Steinnon called for the former mayor “to expedite the federal approval processes for new security technology” and in the interim “embark on a program of discovery to unearth what works and what doesn’t within the hundreds of federal agencies” where he will discover pockets of good security.”
From those groups can draw “the processes and techniques they have used to shore up their defenses,” Steinnon said.
Update: This story has been updated to include comments from Richard Steinnon, chief strategy officer at Blancco Technology Group.