Why We Are Teaming Up with Google, Facebook and a Few of Our Rivals
Protecting the world’s information can create strange bedfellows. But sometimes it’s worth the unexpected allegiances with potential rivals or social media companies in an effort for everyone to get a better grasp on data security.
Unlike what Groucho Marx once said, I'd love to be part of
a group that would have me as a member.
In case you missed it, I just joined the National Cyber Security Alliance board of directors. This is the group in charge of the popular “Data Privacy Day” as well as evolving efforts with their federal supporters on Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Their board, which directs a lot of the infosec discussion, includes big-time companies not generally associated with security (Facebook), frontline practitioners from major corporations (Bank of America) and a scrappy self-driving manufacturer that runs a search engine on the side (Google). For us, it seats us next to occasional security rivals such as Symantec and Raytheon. What this arrangement of various companies and interests says to me is that data’s value and use transcend isolated practices areas. Because of that, security is becoming a paramount interest to our every day understanding of personal security, business continuity and national interests. I think everyone on the board would agree that, for this wider effort, our backgrounds can take a step back to a wider education effort on security.
From my perspective, it means sharing clear info on how encryption isn’t the boogeyman it’s being made out as in some corners. Conversely, encryption is a tool in the hands of private citizens and businesses of all sizes. Here’s how NCSA executive director Michael Kaiser put it in the release announcing my place on this esteemed board:
“Having Matt on the NCSA Board adds another extremely important layer of expertise to our leadership ‒ especially in the area of encryption and the ability to protect data, which is top of mind for all digital citizens.”
(It’s enough to make a guy blush!) More than flattery or a ceremonial title, I look forward to expanding the encryption conversation on the national level, with unexpected allies and a few friendly rivals. In doing so, we’ll pitch in on social channels for a few of their signature events and share a stream of thoughts on their widely read blog. I’ll also look to tie in the interests of personal information protection with those shared by business leaders, our typical audience. If you’ve got an idea on how the encryption debate isn’t being addressed on the national level, I’m all ears – whether you’re a customer, rival or scrappy self-driving car manufacturer.