Update (April 1st, 2015): White House Declares National Emergency to address cyber threats

Patrick Peterson, Founder & CEO

It was a great experience to be at the first White House summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University today. And not just because I’m a cybersecurity expert and the CEO of Agari, but also because what President Obama talked about today is critical to securing our ever-growing digital economy. We’ve all seen the headlines about the explosion in cyberattacks last year, and this year, as I noted in my earlier predictions article is going to be an unfortunately bumpy ride.

Both the president and CEO panelists were clear in detailing just how big a problem cybersecurity is. And critical to tackling this issue is the overwhelming importance of information sharing. Both the president and the summit’s participants get that. Financial institutions, for example, need to share cyberattack information with each other, and our government needs to share information with industries to assert the upper hand on the cyber bad guys. Information sharing is really the lifeblood to effective coordination and defense against the bad guys.

To that end, the president signed an executive order this afternoon urging companies to share cybersecurity-threat information with one another and the federal government. And we at Agari wholeheartedly agree with and support President Obama’s initiatives in this regard. The cyberattacks on Anthem, Sony, Target, Home Depot and myriad others point to the singular importance of restoring trust in our digital economy, particularly in regard to email. In fact, about two-thirds of cyberattacks start with an email — email is, to a great degree, the foundation of digital. And without effective, ironclad digital security, there is no trust.

The more we go digital — and our world is irrevocably moving that way — the more we put ourselves at risk. And while we can never completely eradicate cyberattacks, we can and should share information and work together to restore trust in our digital economy and in email. We think President Obama’s proposed initiatives around data sharing will continue to further our goals at Agari with data sharing as well as catapult our ability to share data even more effectively.

UPDATE: In related news, we have an upcoming webinar, hosted by Kevin Kennedy, Agri’s VP of Product, in which  he examines a real life phishing attack, what impact it had on the person and company who was phished, and what strategies CISOs need to know in order to protect their own organization.