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    Remarks by Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute at the Black Hat Conference

    At the Black Hat technology conference in Nevada, Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute discussed cybersecurity and privacy.

    America needs a safe and secure homeland. We need a dynamic economic engine that generates new wealth. We need strong friends and neighbors. We need predictable relations with others. That’s about the rule of law. What is the role of cyber, cyberspace, and cybersecurity in helping to secure US interests? And to secure them against what? The threat seems pretty comprehensive. You can steal our data, our identities, our past life, our opportunities. But you can’t deter that threat, you can’t have a strategy of deterrence or of prevention, if you never talk about the threat, how we can understand it, indeed, how we can understand cyberspace at all.

    Cyberspace and homeland security have a lot in common. A lot of brand recognition. But not everyone knows what those two terms mean. Cyberspace: is it a war zone? Is it a marketplace, a neighborhood, a school, a highway, a do loop of our past activities, a playground, a sandbox, a war zone.

    How do cyberspace and war zones compare? Wars happen somewhere. They involve somebody. Geography is key. Seizing and holding terrain. Wars happen somewhere, but cyberspace is sort of this space-time thing. Nobody really gets it. […]

    At the Department we’ve laid out five essential missions for ourselves. One is to prevent another terrorist attack. The second mission is to secure our borders, and here you can begin to see the duality of the homeland security challenge. We don’t only want to keep out people and goods that might be dangerous, we want to facilitate trade and travel. The strength of this country rests on our ability to interact with the rest of the world, and to do so in safety and security. The third mission is to enforce our immigration laws. The fourth mission is the cyber mission, ensuring the safety and security of cyberspace. Now some people were surprised that we determined that a safe, secure, and resilient cyberspace is essential to a safe, secure, and resilient homeland. And the fifth mission is to create a resilient society, where the American people are able to face all threats and hazards that come our way. […]

    At the Department of Homeland Security we have been very busy in cybersecurity. We identified cybersecurity as essential to creating a safe, secure, resilient place for the American way of life to thrive. We instituted a National Cyber Challenge because we believe awareness and education are essential. And all the good ideas out there have not even been thought of yet. We’re developing a National Cyber Incident Response Plan that we’ll test in the fall. We are deploying Einstein 2 throughout the dot-gov space. We are standing up NCCIC. We are advancing a trusted identity strategy in cyberspace. We can find a way to secure ourselves. This country can be safe. We can protect our privacy and our rights. We can let open markets flourish. We certainly at the Department don’t believe we have all the answers. What will guide us? Will our expertise guide us? Will our experience guide us? Do we know the difference – that expertise is knowing the conditions under which your experience is relevant. Do we have the courage to challenge the assumptions and explode myths?

    Billions of dollars have been spent to secure cyberspace, yet none of the most fundamental problems have been solved. You can’t access, you can’t surf, you can’t transit, you can’t shop, you can’t talk securely. Fundamental problems.

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