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March 01, 2018

SciTech’s Over-the-Horizon Thought Leadership in Cyberspace

David Z. Bodenheimer

Cyber threats are not new. Public officials, government commissions, and major organizations all agree that the digital losses are piling up fast and the future is scary:

  • $1 trillion in global cyber espionage losses (President Obama, 2009).
  • Digital “Pearl Harbor” national security risks (Defense Secretary Panetta, 2011).
  • 1.9 billion personal records compromised in 2017 (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2018).
  • 978 million people victimized by cybercrime in 2017 (Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 2018).

Long before cybersecurity became front page news, SciTech leapt into the fray, warning about risks, explaining the standards, and offering practical pointers for compliance. Today’s edition reminds us not only of the depth and breadth of the Section’s cyber acumen, but also of SciTech’s rich history of cyber initiatives spanning more than two decades.

The SciTech Lawyer’s Cyber History. Every year at least back to 2004, The SciTech Lawyer has showcased the Section’s cutting-edge expertise in publications covering data security issues in state, federal, and international arenas. From cyber threats “Pulling the Plug on the Power Grid” and “Trade Secrets in the Digital Age” (2006) to “Cyberwarfare in the Stuxnet Age” (2012) and “Insecurity of the Internet of Things” (2016), our award-winning publication has probed the frontiers of cyberspace.

SciTech’s Cyber Library. SciTech authors began turning out leading books on information security long before the headlines hit. Since her International Guide to Combating Cybercrime in 2003, Jody Westby has been busy with the revised International Guide to Cybersecurity (new in 2018), Legal Guide to Cybersecurity Research (2013), and more. Other examples include Data Breach and Encryption Handbook (Thomson ed., 2011), Information Security and Privacy (Shaw ed., 2011), and A Guide to HIPAA Security and the Law (Wu, 2016). Continuing this great publishing tradition, the latest best seller on the cyber book list is Cybersecurity for the Home and Office (Bandler, 2017).

SciTech’s Comments on Standards. The Section has also been active in sharing its cyber expertise on the latest security standards. In the past year, the Section filed comments in three proceedings at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), including the draft Interagency Report on criticality analysis processes and revisions to the massive NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-53 and NIST SP 800-171. With its subject matter expertise on information security, the Section fulfills its mission to serve both the profession and the public interest.

ABA Leadership and Diversity. Throughout the ABA, SciTech has spread its cyber expertise and leadership. The current Co-Chair of the ABA’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force is former SciTech Chair Ruth Hill Bro, along with other former SciTech Chairs (including Lucy Thomson and Tom Smedinghoff) who have also served on the Task Force. In addition, SciTech showcases great diversity in its cyber leaders as illustrated by The SciTech Lawyer’s 2016 article on “Insights from the Women of Cybersecurity” featuring over 20 of our women leaders.

Technology Fusion and Fireballs. If cyberattackers ever colored inside the lines, that time is long gone. Now many technologies magnify the hacker’s toolbox and create new risks ranging from “Stopping Self-Driving Cars from Becoming Cybersecurity Weapons” (Forbes, 2017) to “AI Cyber Attacks Will Be Almost Impossible for Humans to Stop” (Wired, 2018).

With its broad span of expertise and committees, SciTech is well positioned to address the impact of emerging technologies creating new cyber challenges. Indeed, the upcoming IoT National Institute on May 9–10, 2018, will assemble world-class talent to tackle many of these issues arising out of today’s technology kaleidoscope.

In closing, SciTech’s history informs our future, as we continue to mentor our upcoming SciTech cyberstars to carry on our decades of thought leadership to be applied to tomorrow’s most amazing cyber conundrums. u

David Z. Bodenheimer