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on Data, Technology & Innovation

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Judith Douglas

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CYBERSECURITY INNOVATION: Government Leaders Bring Innovation to Fighting Cyber Crime

November 28, 2022

What is the secret sauce for this fight? Recently, government leaders from DHS, FBI, IRS, and Secret Service compared notes at the recent ACT-IAC Homeland Security and Law Enforcement forum. Each Cyber Crime panelist said it a little differently, but the secret sauce they agreed upon is innovation in leadership and sustained collaboration across agencies and partners. Panelists were Tracy Cormier, DHS, Assistant Director, Cyber & Operational Technology; Shawn Devroude, FBI, Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber Division; Jarod Koopman, IRS, Acting Executive Director, Cyber & Forensic Services; and Dave Smith, U.S. Secret Service, Assistant Director, Office of Investigations.

Moderator Gregg Garrett, Peraton, VP, Cybersecurity, set the stage with data from the SONICWALL - Mid-Year 2022 Global Cyber Threat Report.

  • 132% Increase in cyberattacks on encrypted data
  • 77% Increase in cyberattacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • 30% Increase in crypto-jacking cyberattacks
  • 19% Increase in cyber intrusion attempts = 3 trillion intrusion attempts (January-June 2022)
  • $6 Trillion in estimated global damages from cybercrime in 2021 (Source: Cybersecurity Ventures, 2022)

Are we nervous yet? How can we not be?

The panelists and their organizations clearly valued their collaborations and partnerships. Collaborations mentioned came in many flavors, including:

-Pursue “borderless” law enforcement and other initiatives. Cyberattacks are increasingly borderless and so too must be the responses. Panelists agreed on the need to expand global and US law enforcement and other collaboration, for example, to “follow the money” (including digital assets).

-Work with the private sector to increase reports and resolutions. Actions and innovations the IRS is implementing in partnership with DHS, FBI, and CISA help small businesses to enhance their cybersecurity education, training, and cyber defense to increase cyber resilience.

-Harmonize responsibilities. This coordination is facilitated by joint cyber operations and multi-partner Task Forces that include those working in DoD and the Intelligence community, or those outside of the law enforcement community.

-Deploy cyber innovations, training and awareness. For example, DHS is deploying cyber technology innovations including cyber auto incident response automation with AI/ML, continuous diagnostics and monitoring (CDM), and advanced data analytics to improve cyber incident response time.

-Share and publish best practices. One example cited was using behavior-based analytics as a low-cost, high-yield approach that could be collaboratively pursued.

-Improve de-confliction. Coordinate across government agencies regarding “cyberattack targets” as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

It was said in many ways that the most important innovation is in collaboration so that cooperation is less reliant on the strength of will and leadership, and increasingly formalized and institutionalized.


Judy Douglas, Peraton, Client Industry Executive; NAPA Fellow; IAC Executive Committee Member, ACT-IAC Collaboration Council Co-Chair, and ACT-IAC Innovators’ Circle Member and past Chair

Gregory A. Garrett, Peraton, Vice President, Cybersecurity; Cyber Crime Panel Moderator, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Forum

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Nicholas Hart

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We Desperately Need Sound Data to Understand COVID Impacts

April 28, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter our way of life, more than ever we need valid and reliable data to support decision-making at every level of society. When used responsibly, data analysis helps our country’s leaders determine what policies to implement and can even guide our individual actions.

Donald Rumsfeld eloquently said there are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. The pandemic highlights all three categories. Unfortunately, what we don’t know today about how the coronavirus is impacting the American people – the known unknowns -- is vast.

We all have questions about the virus, its implications, and its effects on our neighbors, our friends, and our families. While there are some questions that can’t be definitively answered today, believe it or not, there is much that we should be able to answer with good research if we start now.

Sound Data to Understand COVID Impacts

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Stan Soloway

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Interview: Removing Barrier to Innovation in COVID-19 Legislation

April 24, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has upended American life, with the federal government and state governments responding with various levels of efficacy. Programs to ameliorate the pandemic’s effects are running out of money, stalling, and have been criticized for inefficiency. With the immediate need ahead of us, perhaps it is time to pilot new approaches to the management of federally funded and state-administered programs.

Stan Soloway wrote a column for recently arguing for the removal of barriers to innovation and he joined GovExec Daily to explain how government can move forward more efficiently.

Interview: Removing Barriers to Innovation

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Kathryn Newcomer

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Video: What Technologies, Investments, and Policy Action Could Help Us Rebuild from COVID-19 on a Global Scale?

April 16, 2020

Technology and investments will play a central role in the rebuilding and recovery from COVID-19. What tech and investments show the greatest promise? What policy actions would help us rebuild more intelligently – locally, nationally, and globally? What is the role of transparency, both in the public and private sector, in supporting good governance with the rebuilding and recovery efforts? In addition, what is the role of privacy – and can we make sure we also persevere privacy in the COVID-19 response and recovery too? Please join the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center on Thursday, April 16 at 12pm EDT for a discussion with internationally recognized author and scientist Dr. David Brin, noted public policy professor and expert Dr. Kathryn Newcomer, and Dr. David Bray on the technologies, investments, and policy actions that could help us rebuild from COVID-19 on a global scale.

Video: Technologies, Investments, and Policy to Rebuild After COVID

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Nancy Potok

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Nicholas Hart

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The Pandemic Is Bad, We Need the Capability to Measure Just How Bad

March 25, 2020

If the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic are similar to other global crises historically, there will be long-lasting effects on the businesses, communities, and households for years to come. Understanding just how much the crisis affects our country’s population should be imperative for policymakers. To do so, our country’s research community needs the tools – and the data – to monitor and evaluate the success of our policy interventions to protect public health.

Unfortunately, today the country is ill-equipped for such a task. While ongoing work to implement new federal data laws and practices has put the government on the precipice, the crisis indicates we need much more rapid improvement. The American people will need high-quality and reliable information to understand the current crisis and better prepare for the next one. We cannot wait a decade for that to happen.

The Need For Data During COVID-19