Last February, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity within the Department of Commerce. The Commission is charged with “recommending bold, actionable steps that the government, private sector, and the nation as a whole can take to bolster cybersecurity in today’s digital world, and reporting back by the beginning of December.”
The Commission is composed of twelve individuals from the world of business, technology and academia. Former national security advisor Tom Donilon and former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano serve as chair and vice-chair respectively.
To gather the necessary information for its short- and long-term recommendations, the Commission is holding public meetings around the country, each focused on a different sector of the economy. On May 16, it met in New York City to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the financial sector. The meeting included three panels, one on finance, one on insurance, and the third on research and development.
I was a member of the R&D panel, along with MIT professor Sandy Pentland, IBM Fellow Jerry Cuomo, and Greg Baxter, head of digital strategy at Citigroup. During our 90 minute panel, we each made introductory remarks based on our previously submitted briefing statements and then answered the commissioners’ questions.