Earlier this year, McAfee joined NIST’s National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnership, which is part of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE).
In conjunction with the state of Maryland and Montgomery County, this joint effort brings together high-tech businesses, federal, state and local government and local universities. The organization’s mission is to identify and help deploy real-world cyber security tools that ordinary businesses can use to secure their own networks.
Federal Technology Insider recently spoke with Tom Gann, Vice President of Government Relations for McAfee, about this effort, as well as how private-public partnerships help advance our nation’s cyber security efforts.
FTI: Why is there a need for public-private partnerships?
Gann: Public-private partnerships play a major role in providing three core ingredients for developing a strong national response to cyber security attacks. Both government and the private sector have threat detection systems, as well as assets that need to be protected, which are very vital to the missions and their businesses. As such, sharing of information is critical so both industry and government can develop a fuller and deeper picture of today’s threat environment.
The second component is that the private sector is developing the most cutting-edge cyber security solutions. So, working together, government and industry can collaborate and make sure that the right solutions are being put in the right place, at the right time.
Finally, private and public partnerships can help government set the right policies for managing today’s threat landscape. For this to be successful, input from the private sector is critical.
FTI: How do agencies benefit from public-private partnerships?
Gann: Many agencies have different domains of expertise. For example, the Department of Treasury is very much tied to Wall Street and other financial institutions, which have a tremendous amount of assets that can be vulnerable. So, working with financial institutions and agencies like Treasury, they can develop the right policies that protect these vital assets. The same can be said with the Department of Homeland Security and the need to collaborate with infrastructure organizations for coming up with the right cyber solutions.
FTI: What’s the benefit of working with NIST?
Gann: NIST is an absolute national treasure. The organization exists to grow our national economy by creating new jobs and fostering innovation. This is part and parcel with the role it plays in defining the standards and frameworks that drive today’s cyber security solutions.
We are very excited about our partnership with NIST because it will provide an opportunity for our solutions to be tested in a lab environment before they scale out into a real-world setting. Most, if not all, of the work produced through the partnership will be released to the public in order to better secure the nation’s critical infrastructure.
We look forward to our ongoing work with NIST, which is a prime example of a public-private partnership that will produce dynamic results.
We would like to thank Tom for taking the time to speak with us. To learn more about McAfee’s partnership with NIST, click here.