From last year’s massive Sony Pictures security breach to almost daily news of high-tech attacks on
the infrastructure of U.S. businesses and government, it seems that everyone is concerned about
cybersecurity in our technology-focused culture.
How to close those cybersecurity breaches and make your systems secure is the topic of today’s Super
Session: “Protecting Our Assets: Cybersecurity and the Media.” The session is sponsored by NAB
Labs. Moderated by Joseph A. Smith, deputy director at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s
(NGA) Strategic Outreach Office, the session will focus on the issues that make organizations
vulnerable to attack.
Cybersecurity is all around us. It encompasses industries, communications, transportation, national
defense, government infrastructure, commerce and whatever we are posting today to Instagram or
FaceBook. It’s inextricably woven throughout the fabric of our society.
Experts will offer guidance on measures needed to ensure the best possible protection from cyber
intruders, said John Marino, vice president, Technology, National Association of Broadcasters.
“The recent and growing number of corporate security breaches has attracted the attention of
everyone associated with technology,” Marino said. “Most organizations are looking for technologies
that can be utilized to protect their assets. So it is important for us to focus on cybersecurity and seek
solutions for this growing problem.”
One of the biggest problems may be the lack of preparation or focus on cybersecurity, which was
highlighted in the Sony hack from last year. That one event serves as a wakeup call, Marino said.
“We think that some organizations have simply not given cybersecurity issues priority status.” Marino
said. “We hope to have a very frank discussion of the ways digital content is stored today and the
measures — or lack thereof — taken to secure this content.
“We know that some organizations are in the forefront of securing their assets and we hope that
learning about these successful measures will lead to others taking steps to lock out cyber intruders,”
The Sony Pictures Entertainment hack resulted in the release of confidential data belonging to Sony
Pictures Entertainment in November, which included personal information about Sony Pictures
employees and their families and embarrassing e-mails between employees. The hackers called
themselves the “Guardians of Peace,” or “GOP,” and demanded the cancellation of the planned
release of the film “The Interview.” Eventually the picture, a comedy, was released.
U.S. intelligence officials alleged the attack was sponsored by North Korea, which denied all
responsibility. Some cybersecurity experts have cast doubt on the evidence, alternatively proposing
that current or former Sony Pictures employees may have been involved.
Panelist John McAfee in January was a guest on Varney & Company on the Fox Business channel
and demonstrated what he thinks really went down in the Sony Pictures hack. A cyber veteran,
McAfee pioneered commercial antivirus when he founded McAfee Anti Virus in 1987.
In a pre-taped segment, McAfee managed to bust into host Stuart Varney’s smartphone, thumb
through his contacts and place a call to Varney’s phone that appeared to be coming from the Fox
News headquarters. In the segment, McAfee said the hackers likely used a similar method to get in
touch with employees at Sony and have them voluntarily give up their secret passwords. McAfee
called it a “low-tech” hack.
Given that we now all live in the “Internet of Things,” our reality consists of a networked,
cyber-connected, electronic world — cybersecurity will always be a concern.
“Conference attendees need to make cybersecurity a top priority for their organizations,” Marino
said. “Cyber criminals are looking for soft targets and this trend is likely to continue for the
“The experts who will be participating in this super session will have a lot to say about mistakes that
have led to cyber intrusions,” Marino said. “The panel discussion should bring such mistakes into
perspective and encourage attendees to review their own security programs.”
Joining Smith and McAfee on the panel is John McCoskey, executive vice president and chief
technology officer for the Motion Picture Association of America. McCoskey often testifies before
Congress on matters of technology, video content delivery and state-of-the-art cinemas.
Rounding out the panel is David L. White, who serves as the NGA chief information officer. White
has more than 34 years of experience in the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
He was commissioned as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army, served as a military intelligence
officer and completed his Army career as an acquisition corps officer at the Army Space Program