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Ask the keynote: Stefanie Horvath discusses how history and trends impact cybersecurity

With technology evolving on a daily basis and an increasing amount of data to secure, it’s no surprise that the industry of cybersecurity is a fast paced one. “The fact that there is not just one single most influential trend in cybersecurity but a confluence of many is very influential to the nature of the industry,” says Cyber Security Summit co-chair and 2018 keynote Stefanie Horvath.

Horvath received her master’s degree in Military Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. Today she serves as the Executive IT Director for Minnesota IT Services and concurrently serves in the Army National Guard.

“For the past 10 years, I have been responsible for providing highly reliable and secure network and data services on a Dept. of Defense Information Network (DODIN), in a wide array of operational environments,” she explains, “from overseas deployments, military operations and exercises to more strategic, business-centric network and information services.”

We spoke with Horvath about changing trends of cybersecurity, what she views as a priority in the industry, as well as what she’s looking forward to at Cyber Security Summit 2018.

What do you see as the most influential technology or trend in cybersecurity today?

Stefanie Horvath: “Certainly IoT, machine learning and AI represent advancing technology to increase defense. There are also contralateral theories to the best defense may be to keep it the resource off the network, improve user training to not click on the link and good old cyber hygiene can reduce a very high percent of attacks. The trend is regards to a cybersecurity strategy that is a more active defense comprised of detection tools, preventive tools and response toolset.”

How do you envision the industry changing?

SH: “We’re seeing the fourth Industrial Revolution begin to take shape, thanks to increasing computing, devices and sensors feeding information into large repositories, in addition to increased 5G network access. There is more information to secure and more privacy considerations. IT security professionals are grappling with how to protect an enormous amount of data, appropriately share data for the purpose of doing good while preventing the misuse of information for ill-gotten gain and harm to others.”

What will be different in 5-10 years?

SH: “My hope of what will be different is that decision makers and resource allocators recognize that the cybersecurity threat has risen to such a level it takes precedent over everything else, to protect and safeguard the digital domain in the same manner as we protect the physical domain. Law enforcement agencies would never accept the attacks made against a hospital or school in the physical domain.  Yet, day in and day out, IT security professionals are battling pervasive onslaughts of cyber adversaries, who use the cloak of anonymity to conduct their operations, projecting nefarious power in the digital domain for their own perverse intent.”

Detail your presentation for the keynote at Cyber Security Summit 2018.  Why is the topic you are speaking on relevant to the industry right now?

SH: “I believe there are several historical examples that drive home how important leadership is in generating and executing a successful campaign to defend and achieve a strategic objective in the latest domains – cyber and information.  My presentation will include historical examples, from the sinking of the Lusitania to the development of the proximity fuse, even the conversations occurring in the taverns of Boston leading to the Revolutionary War to highlight the leadership and strategic approach necessary to build successful multidisciplinary coalitions in this cyber domain.”

What do you hope the audience will walk away from your presentation understanding?

SH: “Right now, too much is reliant upon too few. I hope those attending the Summit will agree that we must build resiliency and security into networks and applications through better situational awareness and sharing of information. We must have better working relationships with vendors.  And finally, we absolutely have to have a greater sense of urgency in developing a unified force in the cyber domain.”

Why are you looking forward to the Cyber Security Summit 2018?

SH: “I’m looking forward to hearing Bruce Schneier, Tony Sager and Chris Roberts among a top-notch collection of cybersecurity leaders. The Cyber Security Summit presenters are phenomenal contemporary cybersecurity leaders from varied backgrounds who have invested years in advancing cybersecurity.

I am also looking forward to presentations from Summit Co-chair Dave Notch.  He is certainly a local expert with a tremendous expertise and equivalent commitment and dedication to sharing his knowledge with the IT security community.”

Interested in discussing industry trends and advances with Horvath and hundreds of other cybersecurity professionals from across the globe at the Summit? Register today and join us October 22-24 in Minneapolis.