Evolving Cyber Threats Demand Evolving Cyber Strategies

AT&T Policy Forum
September 17, 2021
Internet Protection


Evolving Cyber Threats Demand Evolving Cyber Strategies

2021 has so far proved to be a watershed year for cybersecurity, with three large-scale cyberattacks reported in just the first few months.  Since then, ransomware attacks have shut down major players in the American economy – everything from pipelines to pork products – confirming attackers are more brazen than ever.

The impacts of these attacks have been felt by all: communities and individuals, businesses – large and small, governmental bodies, educational institutions, and more. We’re all targets, and today more than ever, we know how important it is to do the work to help provide everyone has the secure connections they need.

Enhancing U.S. cyber capabilities.

As the cyber threat landscape evolves, the communications industry and U.S. government have responded by rapidly adapting tools and techniques to both protect today’s targets and preempt tomorrow’s threats.

“We monitor the security of our network 24/7. Our experts develop and use tools including automation, algorithms, artificial intelligence and shared alerts – all available to experts in our operations center. It’s critical we evolve our capabilities and sharpen our situational awareness tools as these attacks increase in scale.”

– Bill O’Hern, Chief Security Officer, AT&T.

Through network monitoring, AT&T provides world-class network security, backed by industry-led standards. Similarly, the U.S. government has recognized the need to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity position by issuing an Executive Order and memoranda recommending steps business leaders can take to protect themselves against ransomware attacks.

While the proposed cyber solutions are long and varied, they all point to one plain problem: successful cyberattacks are all too often centered around weak identity systems and authentication. We’re committed to helping address this key concern along with other communications providers and policymakers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive shift toward digital platforms, and opportunities for bad actors to use authentication attacks to cause real harm have never been higher. The U.S. must enhance its cyber capabilities around identity authentication in order to help safeguard critical infrastructure, protect consumer data, and prevent cyberattacks from disrupting economic continuity.”

 – Chris Boyer, Vice President, Global Security and Technology Policy, AT&T

So how do we address these new threats?

For the security of users and data at scale, organizations must move beyond traditional password-based authentication. Modern authentication solutions can improve trust, visibility, and better control for the kind of routine human error that exposes entities of all sizes to unnecessary cyber risk. Mobile carriers are at the forefront rethinking and implementing voluntary authentication solutions that are easy to use, cost-effective, and protect users’ privacy.

Join us: September 21 at 3 p.m. EDT for a conversation hosted by the AT&T Policy Forum on Identity Authentication: The Next Layer of Protection in a Robust Cybersecurity Strategy.

A distinguished panel of speakers from leading cybersecurity, financial, government, and telecommunications organizations will provide details on the policy work underway and explore the need for commercial solutions to improve digital identity.

The event will feature keynote presentations by Bill O’Hern, Chief Security Officer, AT&T and Carole House, Director of Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation, White House National Security Council. A panel discussion will follow, featuring:

  • Diane Rinaldo, Senior Vice President, Beacon Global Strategies (Moderator)
  • Alex Schlager, CEO, ZenKey
  • Jeremy Grant, Managing Director of Technology Business Strategy, Venable & Coordinator, Better Identity Coalition
  • Ben Flatgard, Executive Director for Cybersecurity, JPMorgan Chase & Co.