This Week in AML

Cybersecurity: A Global Challenge

This week saw a White House summit on cybersecurity making clear the connection between cybersecurity and national security. John and Elliot discuss the importance of connecting the domestic focus with our efforts globally to form strong partnerships and build effective cooperation to thwart cyber threats, and protect the international financial system.  



Cybersecurity: A Global Challenge TRANSCRIPT


Elliot Berman: Hi, John, did you make it home okay?


John Byrne: We did, thanks. Great weekend in Milwaukee.


My daughter lives there, and then my other two daughters and son came as well. We did some fun things in the city and also were able to have dinner with you and your wife, Karen. So that was great. So, [we] had a great time, thanks.


Elliot Berman: Yeah. While you were here and we were seeing you, cybersecurity certainly has been making a lot of news. Today the white house held a cybersecurity summit and some interesting things came out of that. I assume you saw some of the reports.


John Byrne: I did, and I just saw a snippet of the press briefing from the press officer for [the] President, Jen Sacchi, and she mentioned both this event, but also again, reaffirmed the importance of the private sector, reporting attacks and how come that's so important. She was referencing an event today where they brought in people from the academic world [and] obviously the private sector. Silicon Valley types [and] others, and they believe that cybersecurity is [an] essential part of the efforts, not just to maintain business continuity, but to deal with national security issues. So, a lot of things were discussed.


A couple of things jumped out at me from the government side, the administration announced that NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology], and I remember from my ABA days, and this is [The] National Institute of Standards and Technology that they're going to work with the industry to develop a new framework.


That's going to, in their words, improve the security and integrity [of] the tech supply chain. So that was one thing that they talked about. And then a number of the companies announced new projects. Google said it's going to invest 10 billion to expand what they call zero trust programs so that the software supply chain is improved and enhances open source security.


Microsoft [and] IBM had some announcements and then in the academic world, a group that I was not familiar with - I thought this was pretty interesting, code.org announced it's going to teach cybersecurity concepts to over 3 million students across 35,000 classrooms in the three-year period [and] they're going to teach them how to stay safe online. Which we know is so important, especially now, and [to] build interest in cybersecurity as a potential career. A group sort of a parallel to that called girls who code - they're going to create a micro-credentialing program for what they're calling a historically excluded group in technology. [It] is great to try to reach out to the next generation and beyond to look at cyber [security] as an area of focus. I think [it] makes a lot of sense.


Elliot Berman: Yeah, there's no question that it is a top national security priority. There were some pronouncements by the government National Security Apparatus in July on this topic. And earlier this week, the Treasury Department announced that it had reached a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cyber security cooperation with the monetary authority of Singapore.


John Byrne: Right.


Elliot Berman: We have these with a number of countries around the world, but it's clear recognition that the cyber threats don't abide by borders. So, having both a strong domestic focus on it, but also international [and] cooperation with good partners around the world is critical to be able to both build a strong cyber network, but also be able to interject and respond when bad things happen.


John Byrne: Yeah. And you know, in the Singapore MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], [a] couple of the bullet points, if you will, are certainly consistent with what we've heard, not just in cyber security, but in AML, and that's to try to improve information sharing related to the financial sector. So, giving them more information and guidance about things like cybersecurity incidents training, and then, you know, what they're calling competency building, such as the conduct of cross border cybersecurity exercises.


We do a lot of this working with these countries in this fashion, and it just strengthens the global response to cyber-attacks. It's not just in our own country's silos. I think that's obviously the important aspect of this.


Elliot Berman: Yeah. The company you and I work for, AML RightSource - all of us need to take cybersecurity training [on] an annual basis and be sure that we know how to recognize potential threats to this company's systems. Given the work we do, to be sure that we're not assisting anybody accessing any of our client's systems.


John Byrne: Yeah, that's so true. And again, especially in companies like ours, where our model has been, as we know, prior to the pandemic, working in offices with clean rooms and all the other security bells and whistles, and then having to transition all of those workers and staff and experts, they're all experts really, to their homes during COVID. That was a major undertaking. So, a lot of companies are grappling with, as we go post-pandemic, how are we going to deal with security? If we even have a hybrid remote or office work. So, I think that's all related. And then, as we both know, the attacks on the elections in 2016 and 2020 by the Russians and others, mainly done through cyber warfare. So, all of this sort of clings together.


Elliot Berman: It does.


Well, I'm going to do my pitch, and then you can do your pitch. So, my pitch is, if you're enjoying this episode of This Week in AML, you can find our previous episodes and our other podcasts on SpotifyApple PodcastsSoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.


John, now you can do your pitch.


John Byrne: Yeah. So, we're very proud of the fact that we're going to be able to host a live webinar, a 90-minute special webinar, starting at one o'clock Eastern time on September 9th. It'll be dealing with 20 years after 9/11 as all of us in the AML community, whether you're new or been here for a while, know.


And what we're going to do [is] we have three individuals that did so much then, and still do post 9/11. We want to talk about the day in the environment a bit, but we really want to talk about the impact that it's had on the anti-money laundering and CFT [Combating the Financing of Terrorism] today. So, I think you're going to find it extremely useful, compelling, and practical.


So again, that's going to be on September 9th, one o'clock Eastern [and] 90 minutes. You can register on our website. [I'm] looking forward to talking to you folks about that in a couple of weeks.


Elliot Berman: All right, John, I will talk with you next week.


John Byrne: Take care of Elliot and stay safe.


Elliot Berman: Yep. You too, bye-bye.