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*** President Donald Trump is promoting Michael Kratsios to the post of U.S. chief technology officer. Kratsios is currently deputy CTO.

*** After delivering a report with a set of recommendations to the administration last November, Tom Patterson, vice president and Chief Trust Officer at Unisys and co-chair of the Cybersecurity Moonshot initiative, told the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board that members were looking to get final approval from the White House in the coming weeks, if not days.

Patterson said the group designed their recommendations to stop or mitigate a range of future cybersecurity threats that U.S. officials think will one day be leveraged by adversaries against U.S. government and critical infrastructure: the ability to intercept and decrypt all traffic, retrain Artificial Intelligence systems to work against their own creators, take over or disrupt real time communications, inject doubt into previously trusted sectors of the economy and the ability to masquerade under or fabricate other user identities.

While the moonshot is meant to be forward looking, Patterson also flagged three "realities" of modern day cybersecurity that could complicate a successful transition. First, most critical infrastructure companies have "junk pile" IT environments consisting of patchwork legacy systems that may not react well to major changes. Second, no technological change will stop humans from doing dumb things that put their employers at risk. Finally, most people will buy insecure technology products if it means saving a few bucks.

"It's hard to tell people that don't have much money, that want to be on the information super highway, not to go buy [a ZTE phone]," Patterson said. "So, they exist and the moonshot needs to understand that."

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 at 1:10 AM


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