By Anne C. Bader, Founder, The International Cybersecurity Dialogue
August 17, 2020

A few years ago, I met Eileen Manning, producer of the annual Cyber Security Summit (CSS) in Minneapolis, while attending a security event in Washington D.C.  I was there as Founder of The International Cybersecurity Dialogue (ICD), whose mission is to promote dialogue and a working relationship between technologists and policymakers.

Eileen emanated a “je ne sais quoi” of positive energy and authenticity, and I quickly learned that we shared a firm belief in the power of networks and continuous dialogue to accomplish the seemingly insurmountable task of improving the general state of cyber security preparedness. Eileen is what my friend Shellye Archambeau calls Unapologetically Ambitious. Subsequently I traveled to Minneapolis to attend the 2016 Cyber Security Summit and  joined the CSS Think Tank Advisory Board.  

What I learned in that first visit was extraordinary. That special character of openness, achievement, entrepreneurial drive seemed to be shared by most of the individuals I met. The CSS Think Tank Advisory Board represents leadership from every sector of the Minnesota community; they consistently find innovative ways to bring different sectors together year after year for an event that increases cooperation across the spectrum.   

Is it because of Eileen’s leadership? The Cyber Security Summit’s mission? Or does Minnesota have a unique multidisciplinary and integrated ecosystem of major global corporations, supportive state government and academic communities?  The answer is yes!

Well-run organizations have a unique ability to be the landing pads where diverse sectors and communities can get to know one another. In my international work with NATO, it was often the case that the first in-person meetings for colleagues from NATO, the EU, the UN, the OSCE, and some warring countries were through programs hosted by independent organizations in the 90s and the early 2000s.  

One example was our launch of the NATO TRUST program in 2004 from a strategic communication strategy model we built with NATO experts during 18 months in Ukraine. At the July 2004 National Press Club launch, the DC press photographed former Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta greeting Serbian President Boris Tadic with a warm handshake. Their original personal friendship has helped both countries work together more effectively for many years.

This year’s 10th annual Cyber Security Summit 2020 is emblematic of that same approach to bridging the gap among sectors and nations. In 2019, CSS hosted roughly 1000 delegates from 28 states and 7 countries.  This year, we expanded the International Outreach program  with a monthly International Webinar Series with experts and a launch audience in 15 countries. This year’s Cyber Security Summit on October 26-28, inaugurates a two-part International Program on Securing the Global Supply Chain in a Covid 19 World.

The first breakout, “Securing the Global Supply Chain in a Covid 19 World: Threats, Innovations, Solutions,” introduces you to today’s supply chain with two international Supply Chain Experts and one Corporate user as commentator.

The second Breakout, “Securing the Global Supply Chain: How International Stakeholders Must Adapt to Win” invites you to participate with national and international delegates in a roundtable featuring  a threat demonstration scenario by an international red team leader and the “Hot Wash” or after action discussion with counterparts from across the globe.  Your comments and questions will be recorded in a White Paper report of the proceedings sent to you at the close of the summit.  

At the Cyber Security Summit, our mission is to produce a multi-stakeholder consortium that brings together industry, government and academic interests in an effort to improve the state of cyber security on both a domestic and international level. The CSS understands that cyber security issues don’t respect nation state boundaries. We need everyone’s help to fight back and we’re doing our part to make that happen.

Anne C. Bader is Principal, Bader Resources, LLC, Founder of The International Cybersecurity Dialogue, a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft, London and an Associate Expert, Defense Security Emergence Team (EESD) Cnam, Paris … full bio