Madison Committee
on Foreign Relations

Cyber-Technology as a Tool (Weapon) of International Affairs: The Context of Discussion and Defense

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2012
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Mediterranean Room (not the Rigadoon Room), Edgewater Hotel, 666 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison

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  • MCFR encourages engagement in global affairs by making its monthly events available to students at a special event price

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Cyber-Technology as a Tool (Weapon) of International Affairs: The Context of Discussion and Defense

Howard Schmidt
Former White House National Cyber Security Coordinator

Co-sponsored by

As the recently retired Special Assistant to the President and National Cyber Security Coordinator in the White House, Howard Schmidt has been present at the highest level of deliberations on the threats to our country and its infrastructure, and responses.  Cybersecurity was identified as one of the top global risks to watch in the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Risk Report in Davos and this program is intended to address that risk.

 National headlines as recently as early September announce the current administration’s high priority for significantly increasing our country’s protection against cyber threats. What is the significance of cybersecurity/cyberterrorism in global affairs? Is it merely another kind of “weapon”, to be analyzed and dealt with in the same way as nuclear weapons? Is it a lurking global epidemic threat – where a stuxnet attack on the entire US power grid could happen anytime, crippling the economy? Or is it more an expensive irritation like another Nigerian scam? Or is it a question of the international laws of warfare? As Mr. Schmidt has observed, probably all of those.  Are efforts to detect and respond developing with appropriate urgency?  Mr. Schmidt will address these and other pressing issues.

As Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator, The White House, Executive Office of the President, Howard Schmidt was responsible for coordinating interagency cybersecurity policy development and implementation for the US Government and for coordinating engagement with federal, state, local, international, and private sector cybersecurity partners. Previously, he was the President and CEO of the Information Security Forum (ISF) and held leadership roles in security at eBay and Microsoft, municipal and federal law enforcement, and the White House. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in organizational management.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Washington Post, 7 Sep 2012: "White House drafts order to protect US industries from cyberattack after Congress fails to act"


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