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ISA and NACD Collaborate on Cyber Conference Targeting Corporate Boards

June 23, 2020

The Internet Security Alliance (ISA) and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) will collaborate on a virtual conference on cybersecurity starting at noon today, focusing on the unique needs and responsibilities corporate boards have in addressing growing cyber-threats in a post-pandemic world. The conference will be built around the themes ISA and NACD have developed in their recently published handbook for directors, Cyber-Risk Oversight 2020. Several members of the ISA Board of Directors and contributors to the handbook will be featured at the conference. The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice both also contributed to Cyber-Risk Oversight 2020, but they will not be featured at this event, which is targeted specifically on what boards of directors need to be doing in the current environment. A future event focusing on government-private sector partnerships will be considered post-pandemic.

ISA President Larry Clinton will kick off the conference. Clinton, who also serves as the co-chair of the IT Sector Coordinating Council’s Pandemic Recovery Working Group, will outline how the pandemic has altered the playing field for directors and lay out a series of principles and inquiries directors need to be addressing to corporate management as the economy goes through and eventually emerges from the pandemic.

“The pandemic ushered in the largest change in how people do work in history. Almost overnight we went from an environment wherein 20 percent of employees did some work remotely to an environment where perhaps 80 percent of employees did virtually all their work from remote locations – a transformation almost entirely unplanned,” Clinton said. “The new environment dramatically increased the vulnerability of our information systems. As a result, boards acting in their oversight capacity for their enterprises need to think very differently about their business, its security and stakeholders’ privacy. They need to think outside their traditional boundaries, they need to think in terms of people, information, and machines, and they need to think in terms of balancing their security and economic needs. Agility will be the key word moving forward.”

Richard Spearman, Global Security Director for Vodafone, will address the enormous strains the pandemic put on telecommunications carriers to provide to quickly upgrades to their facilities and services while maintaining security and functionality. Mr. Spearman will focus very directly on the privacy implications created in the new environment, especially for transnational organizations like Vodafone, which have to address both the combined stresses of responding to the pandemic while providing universal service, managing a shifting business model, and balancing multiple privacy requirements. Jim Halpert of DLA Piper, also a major contributor to the NACD-ISA handbook, will focus in on the implications of new California legislation on protecting personal data.

In a final breakout session, former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton’s presidential advisor on cybersecurity Melissa Hathaway will provide a tutorial for corporate directors on safeguarding their own personal security in the new environment. Ms. Hathaway was the author of a specific chapter of the Cyber-Risk Oversight 2020 that covered this topic.

“ISA is always delighted to work with NACD on cybersecurity matters. This was the third edition of the Cyber-Risk Handbook and the fourth conference ISA have collaborated with NACD on that specifically addresses this growing topic. NACD has been in the vanguard of raising boards’ awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and has complimented their awareness programs with providing their members with concrete advice that has been independently assessed and proven to actually improve corporate cybersecurity. As always, it’s an honor to work with them,” said Clinton.