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E21: Season 3 Episode 1: AUSA Cyber Security

  • By dbllawyersv2
  • November 21, 2022
  • Season 3

AUSA National Security

Tom Dunlap sits down with David Verhey and Robert Eatinger, partners for Dunlap Bennett and Ludwig, and Major General Charlie Fletcher, at the AUSA cocktail part in Washington, DC, and they talk about cyber security and national security and socio economic issues.

How does the global economy affect how companies deal with cyber security?

Some of the larger ones don’t necessarily see themselves as first in American or a French company or another company. They see themselves as a global company where they have to balance the equities of all the countries in order to maximize their return overall. If they make the wrong statements that can have some impact.  In the cybersecurity realm there’s different methods and security as well as who you are going to protect your data against. If you don’t have to worry about any particular governments, you do your best to balance the ability to sell the data as long as you need the ability to get customers. If you have to limit yourself to things that your government may want or not wanting to get exported, such as high level encryption devices and things of that nature, then your marketing overseas is in.  Companies are worried about the global market because of the massive amount of income and how they drive from overseas markets and they don’t want to lose those more. 

Cyber security from a global/NATO perspective

From the commercial side, tthe military increasingly looked at the information management in the commercial realm on backbones that were very established and to try and expand that to moving forward in those structures that we had to set up.  Backbones are internet where you have a control from end to end of the flow of physical items. Increasingly all the companies in the world and who are multinational, are managing that more and is the differentiator in business. 

The military start off by an inability to manage the same level of information. They started tagging and putting information on tags that they could read, which over time became a vulnerability because other people could read it and they could see what we were moving and they knew what to go for. Increasingly with these companies, we’re seeing that with the attacks against their networks are impacting the global economy in terms of their ability to manage their own assets and all of the elements.

What steps would a company take to get ahead of cyber security?

Practically and legally, right at the outset. All companies have to understand that they are part of a vast information network that’s undergoing really a global revolution right now.  That global revolution is described really best in one phrase as “hyper-connectivity”. If you are a company, even doing a small amount of business over the internet, you are connected to that system which is global in nature. As a consequence, if you understand as a company that your intersection with the network then exposes you to a whole realm of threats. The first step is understanding that you are not an Island in and of yourself. Second is getting a clear sense of what your exposure is as a company. That’s called the assessment phase. It’s just understanding what’s going on in your own household. Once that is determined, then you can take the steps to proactively go against those risks. Oftentimes what we recommend is to work with top notch commercial vendors who have the skills and capabilities to address those threats. 

What is a breach?

Most people know a breach as hacking.  People have to watch out for companies that can get into your system. They can manipulate your own data in order to make you less competitive. Also, using an individual’s personal data, financial records, medical records, and then using those against people to get false identities and financial benefit.  You have to get ahead of a data breach so that you know what you’ve lost. Even understanding you might be so behind the curve that you don’t know what you’ve lost when you have a breach.

What is going on with China in the cyberspace and security space?

China’s economic activities are primarily taking place inside the cyber domain.  China is the primary challenge to the United States as a competitor globally to dominate economics throughout the world or beyond that to introduce their vision of how society should be governed or not governed. That’s really the challenge that’s outlined in the national defense strategy. It’s so different than the way we thought about things in the past. China is actually a revisionist power. They would like to see their vision of society, which is authoritarian in nature, that’s state centered. It doesn’t have the same appreciation for individual rights and how business and politics and geopolitical relationships are conducted. That’s a challenge for the United States because as a country that’s based on the rule of law, we protect our intellectual property, particularly in a way that China doesn’t necessarily respect. As a consequence, we are now in a situation where we’re not only in a trade war, probably a cold war to some extent. Even recent reports have suggested that China’s theft of us intellectual property is valued at somewhere upwards of $250 billion to $600 billion per year. 

Solving the China Trade Problem

It’s gotta be a coalition of the willing to find an agreement and we’ve got the U S view of going after China may be seen in Europe as a U S view to make the U S the predominant force in this. We’ve got to be very careful the way we approach it to make sure that our risks are seen and shared by our allies as we go forward, less we lose them as we try and fight what is obviously a very concerted and organized effort. 


Blackletter Studio – Website

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig – Website

Thomas Dunlap – LinkedIn

David Verhey – LinkedIn

General Fletcher – LinkedIn

Robert Eatinger- LinkedIn

Wounded Warriors: Website

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