By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia


We live in exciting and perilous times. Every day, the innovation economy becomes more inter-connected and multi-threaded. As borders erode and friction vanishes, disruption becomes more intense.  

New opportunities are emerging…along with new threats. Cybercrime is on the rise, and it’s becoming more organized, sophisticated, and global.  

This state of affairs is something we want to highlight in October during Cybersecurity Awareness month, and it was the backdrop to the National Technology Security Coalition’s (NTSC) 4th Annual National CISO Policy Conference, held last month in Washington and online.  

With foresight and vision, TAG created the NTSC in 2016 to bring a private sector perspective to influence the current national policy discussions about cybersecurity and our critical infrastructure.  

Given my role leading TAG and the NTSC, I was honored to host a conversation during the conference with Ray Rothrock. He’s Executive Chair of RedSeal and author of “Digital Resilience – Is Your Company Ready for the Next Cyber Threat.”  

Ray shared a brief history leading up to today’s growing cybersecurity threat. “Prevention, Detection, and Resilience” are the keys to creating an effective cybersecurity strategy. Because threats tend to evolve quickly, he said it’s almost impossible to predict when and where the next attack will occur. Prevention keeps becoming more difficult, so we must continue to adapt our defenses. 

Here are some other highlights of this year’s conference: 

  • U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly spoke about her plans after only a few months in office. She recently created the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) and in partnership with National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, has been pushing hard for mandatory breach disclosure—the topic of two new bills in Congress. These new rules will impact many TAG and NTSC members, so we’ll continue to track how they’re implemented. 
  • We met with U.S. Rep. John Katko and his team. Rep. Katko introduced the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee Act in the House in 2019, which was included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. It’s reassuring to know he and others in Congress are working on more legislation to bolster our critical infrastructure. 
  • Raj Badhwar, CISO for Voya Financial, talked about his new book “The CISO’s Next Frontier: AI, Post-Quantum Cryptography and Advanced Security Paradigms.” 
  • Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, shared frightening statistics about ransomware and other cybercrime. He highlighted the efforts by the U.S. government to address the challenges and also covered some of the lessons learned from recent incidents like SolarWinds and Colonial Pipeline. 
  • Robert Langevin is the architect of the UK’s National Cybersecurity Center, which now serves as a model for the rest of the world. He spoke about the international challenge of cybersecurity and emphasized the need for cross-border cooperation.  
  • Emily Schaffer, Managing Director, Technology at Year Up, spoke about closing the opportunity divide in technology. Her organization helps young adults gain
    the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education.

Congratulations to Patrick Gaul and his team at NTSC for bringing together this impressive cast of the best and brightest minds in cybersecurity. The 2021 NTSC National CISO Policy Conference was an important milestone on our journey to create a thriving technology ecosystem free from the threat of cybercrime.